Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Left MPs demand CBI probe into Saradha ponzi scam

Over 30 Left MPs today asked the government to institute a CBI probe into the Saradha ponzi scam, saying three states were seeking it and a Rajya Sabha member, now under arrest in the case, had made an "alarming" statement about involvement of top Trinamool Congress leaders.

Many of these MPs, led by CPI(M) leaders Sitaram Yechury and Basudeb Acharia, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here and submitted a memorandum on the issue signed by over 30 of them from both Houses of Parliament.

"Lakhs and lakhs of people have been defrauded and thousands of crores of rupees misappropriated. Most of it has been misused for political puposes. And this has become the conduit of politically financing certain political parties," Yechury told reporters after the meeting.

"It is difficult to expect unbiased investigation by any (West Bengal) state agency. Moreover, since the Saradha Group is reported to have its network spread over several states and even across countries...(there was) an urgent need for investigation by a central agency such as CBI.

"It is to be noted that several state governments such as of Assam, Tripura and Odisha have already asked for CBI investigation into the Saradha scam," the memorandum said.
Maintaining that other states have also sought CBI probe, Yechury said, "Once the investigation begins, will lead up to West Bengal because the headquarters of most of these companies are in Bengal. So, therefore, a CBI enquiry can be ordered on the basis of other state governments' request."

He said the Prime Minister told the MPs "he would consider this aspect." Maintaining that the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) was already investigating the case and had submitted an interim report to the Corporate Affairs Ministry, Yechury said its final report was to be submitted this month.

"So, at least on the basis of that, we have asked the Prime Minister that CBI should be directed to continue with that (SFIO) enquiry," the senior CPI(M) leader said.

Terming Saradha scam as a "gigantic scam based on the loot of the people", Yechury said this was "a classic case of corporate capitalism looting people for very quick profits and using those undeclared profits for political activities." Trinamool's Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, currently under arrest, has named several top party leaders, including those in the West Bengal government, for being allegedly involved in the scandal.

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