The West Bengal Government on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court's order to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the Saradha Chit Fund Scam in West Bengal.
State Finance Minister Amit Mitra said, "West Bengal Government welcomes the Supreme Court judgment on Saradha scam. Though, the judgement has come two days before the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections."
Mitra also hoped that the CBI will be free and fair in conducting its probe, and said justice should be provided to all the people duped by Saradha.
"The Netai and Nandigram cases are with the CBI, and, no breakthrough has been made in these cases. However, we hope the CBI gets to the bottom of these cases," he added.
He blamed the previous Left Front Government for the scam, and said the chit fund was started during their regime.
"It is heartening to note that the SC has praised the work so far by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the state government in connection with the Saradha scam," Mitra said.
"The SC has also said that SIT would continue with its investigation on all the chargesheets filed by it. This shows that the SC has reposed its faith on the state-formed body," he added.
The apex court bench said the investigating agency will also look into any other ponzi scheme involved in chit fund scam in West Bengal, besides Saradha.
The Kolkata-based Saradha Group, ponzi scheme had over 10,000 registered chit funds across the country and with an aggregate turnover of Rs.30, 000 crore per annum.
The Saradha Group is said to have defrauded thousands of investors, including poor people, in West Bengal, leading to the arrest of its owner Sudipta Sen.
The industry is governed by Chit Fund Act 40/1982 and is regulated by state governments with their own set of rules. Reserve Bank of India is the principal regulator and at the state level Registrar of Chits/The Inspector General of Registration oversees these regulations.