The CBI has alleged that the probe into the multi-crore Saradha ponzi scam has been badly hit by a “hostile” government machinery in West Bengal, which is delaying filing of the final charge sheet. Explaining the reasons for the delay, a senior official of the premier investigative agency told PTI, “The state government is hostile to the CBI and in the case of Saradha scam, the government machinery has damaged all the evidences.”
“So, we are getting late in filing the final charge sheet,” added the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official. He further said that the banking security fraud branch, special crime branch and the economic offences wings of the agency had all become non-functional after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee decided to withdraw the “general consent” to the CBI to conduct raids and investigations.
“Only the Economic Offences IV (chit fund probe wing) is functioning in the state,” he said. Regarding the deadline in filing the final charge sheets in the Rose Valley and Saradha scams, he said “there is no time frame”. Citing the arrest of renowned film producer Shrikant Mohta by the agency in the Rose Valley chit fund scam case on January 25, he alleged that officers from a police station had gone to Mohta’s office on that day to intimidate the agency sleuths, asking them why they had come.
“They had no business to go there and prevent the CBI from carrying out its duty,” the official said. CBI sleuths had questioned Mohta in his office at a shopping mall in south Kolkata on January 25 and later in the day they took him to the CBI office at the CGO Complex in Salt Lake for further interrogation, where he was placed under arrest.
Mohta, considered close to the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal, allegedly duped Rose Valley of Rs 25 crore. The CBI is probing both the Saradha and Rose Valley multi-crore-rupee scams. The Enforcement Directorate is also probing the Rose Valley scam. The West Bengal government had formed the SIT in 2013 with officers drawn from the state’s CID and Kolkata Police. The Supreme Court ordered a probe into the Saradha scam and transferred the case to the CBI in 2014.