KOLKATA CP Grilled About SIT Probe In Saradha Scams

KOLKATA Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar was questioned by the CBI on Saturday in Shillong related to the Saradha chit fund scam as mandated by the Supreme Court of India. He will be questioned tomorrow also. The apex court has ordered that Kumar cannot be harassed or arrested by the CBI until February 20 when the next hearing of the CBI Versus WB case will be resumed. Kumar headed a SIT that looked into the Ponzi case is accused of destroying evidence to allegedly protect the accused. Last Sunday, a CBI team was detained by the Kolkata Police after they reached Kumar’s residence to question him about the probe. He was reportedly summoned thrice but had not responded. The CBI also claimed that it had intimated the concerned authorities about the team’s arrival in Kolkata and sought assistance. Three hours later, the CBI Officials were released. The incident, stated to be first kind in India, led to a standoff between the West Bengal government and the Centre. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched a protest and accused PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah of plotting a ‘coup’ and using CBI and government agencies to threaten political opponents. After 45 hours, Banerjee called off the protest – which drew support of several regional party leaders planning a grand alliance against BJP following- the Supreme Court’s intervention. Meanwhile, in a communication The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has reminded the West Bengal Government that is the cadre controlling authority for all IAS and IPS officers. All IAS and IPS officers should not be in the company of any political party or leader, said MHA amidst media report that five WB senior officials will be divested of their medals and placed below the seniority list and may not be considered for central posting for violation of the prescribed service rules. It may be recalled that Saradha Group financial scandal was a major financial scam and alleged political scandal caused by the collapse of a Ponzi scheme run by Kolkata based Saradha Group, a consortium of over 200 private companies employing   about 16,000.The group had collected around INR 200 to 300 billion from over 1.7 million depositors assuring them attractive rate of interest before it collapsed in April 2013. Most of its investors were based in West Bengal and hence, the Mamata government instituted an inquiry commission to investigate the collapse. The State government also set up a fund to ensure that low-income investors were not bankrupted.The central government through the Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate launched a multi-agency probe to investigate the Saradha scam and similar Ponzi schemes. In May 2014, the Supreme Court of India  taking into consideration  inter-state ramifications, possible international money laundering, serious regulatory failures and alleged political nexus, transferred all investigations into the Saradha scam to The  Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe  the scamb.Many prominent personalities were arrested for their involvement in the scam including two Members of Parliament (MP) – Kunal Ghosh and Srinjoy Bose, former West Bengal Director General of Police Rajat Majumdar, a top football club official Debabrata Sarkar, Sports and Transport minister in the Trinamool Congress government Madan Mitra. The  Group’s founder –chairman  cum MD Sudipto Sen  and Director  Debjani Mukherjee  were  arrested  from Kashmir  while fleeing in a SUV  and are still  in jail.

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