A division bench of the Gauhati High Court on Thursday asked Tarun Gogoi-led Assam government to hand over all cases related to various chit fund companies and non-banking finance companies (NBFC) to the CBI without further delay.
The order was passed by the bench comprising Acting Chief Justice K Sridhar Rao and Justice P K Saikia.
At present, the CBI is investigating the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam involving several people who are politically significant in West Bengal and Assam.
According to senior advocate Debashish Sur, who is representing a number of people allegedly duped by some of these chit fund companies, the judges took exception to the not-so-satisfactory progress — made by the CID and the Bureau of Investigation into Economic Offences of the Assam Police — in investigating into these cases. There are 212 such cases involving at least 179 chit fund companies and NBFCs registered with Assam Police, Sur said.
He added that the High Court issued the order despite the CBI counsel pleading not to hand over more cases as the agency was already overburdened. “The High Court asked the CBI to constitute an SIT if necessary, apart from designating a DIG-level officer to exclusively supervise these cases,” Sur said.
The High Court further directed the Assam government to hand over those cases in which chargesheets had been submitted and final reports made, he said and added that the court’s directive was in line with a Supreme Court order directing the transfer of all chit fund scam cases to the CBI.
The High Court also asked the CBI to expedite the investigations, book the culprits, attach their properties and work out modalities to return the money of thousands of investors who were fleeced by these chit fund companies and NBFCs, advocate Sur said.
Earlier in May 2013, the Assam government had handed over two such cases to the CBI. The Supreme Court order, on its part, had in May 2014 ordered a CBI inquiry into all chit fund fraud cases in West Bengal, Orissa and Assam.
Meanwhile, well-known Assamese musician and film-maker Sada Gogoi continues to be in the CBI custody after he was arrested in September 2014 in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. The CBI had also raided premises belonging to several other persons, including former Assam health minister and senior Congress leader Himata Biswa Sarma.
Former Assam DGP Sankar Barua, who too faced a CBI raid, on the other hand had committed suicide in September last year.