CBI willing to probe Saradha scam if court asks

Kolkata, May 3 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Friday expressed its willingness to probe the Saradha Group chit fund scam if directed by the Calcutta High Court.

CBI counsel Himangshu Dey also urged the court during the hearing on a public interest litigation – demanding CBI probe into the scam – to direct the state government to provide infrastructural support if the agency was to take up the matter.

A division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi adjourned the hearing till May 8.

The judges also asked the state government to provide to all the petitioners copies of its affidavit to the court.

The state was allowed to file a supplementary affidavit if it wished on the points raised in the applications pitching for a CBI probe.

Counsel representing the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) – which monitor companies seeking deposits – also furnished documents to the court on their stand on the issue.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist led Left Front, the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as also two MPs of the ruling Trinamool Congress – Somen Mitra and Kabir Suman – have asked for a CBI probe in the matter, arguing that it extended to multiple states and involved Trinamool leaders.

Senior counsel Subrata Mukherjee, representing one of the petitioners, said chief ministers of Assam and Tripura are open to a CBI probe, but their Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee was not keen on it.

Quoting the state government’s affidavit to the court, he said it had claimed that the call for probe by the federal investigative agency was “premature”.

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