Bengal passes Bill to curb ponzi schemes

Written by feBureau | Kolkata | Updated: May 1 2013, 09:24am hrs
In a move to gain control over firms running ponzi schemes in West Bengal, the state legislative assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed the West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Bill, 2013.

It scrapped the West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment Bill, 2009. This Bill was with the President since 2009. Though the Opposition voted for the new Bill, it feared that this would not get the Presidents nod because some sections were repugnant to the provisions of the Constitution.

Both Surya Kanta Mishra, leader of Opposition from the CPM, and Congress Manas Bhunian, said the Bill had many provisions that were bad in law and repugnant to the provisions of the Constitution.

Bhunian, during the Session, pointed out that sub clause 4 of clause 3 in the Bill imposed restriction from going to the court without prior consent of the competent authority. This was a violation of the Constitution, he said.

A number of Congress MLAs sought an amendment to this provision, but speaker Biman Bandopadhyay didnt feel the need for that.

However, the government stressed that the Bill would enable it to book companies, which have set up businesses long back and have been running ponzi schemes. The Opposition argued that the Bill would be ineffective since the Constitution didnt allow giving retrospective effect to any law dealing with crime.

Bhunian, citing article 20 (1) of the Constitution, said the trial of a criminal has to be done according to the law prevalent at the time when the crime was committed. So, the new law would not be helpful in booking someone like Saradha owner Sudipta Sen.