While Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government has already started political campaign with developmental schemes and programmes ahead of the elections, the Chit Fund scam may bring some embarrassing things for it. Recently the Supreme Court’s notice to Odisha government shows improper investigation into the scam.
The apex court has issued notices to Odisha and four other states – Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat – asking them to reply within four weeks whether they are willing to co-operate with the CBI in the chit fund scam.
The court’s direction came on a PIL seeking CBI inquiry into the multi-crore chit fund scam in which the investors have been cheated. The petitioner Alok Jena alleged that around 20 lakh families have been duped of around Rs 50 thousand crore by different chit fund companies in the state.
In the petition, Jena alleged that the Economic Offences Wing of the Crime Branch of Odisha Police raided offices of several chit fund companies as part of their investigation and arrested many. However, the main culprits are yet to be arrested. He sought CBI inquiry into the scam saying the state government is unable to investigate the matter in a proper way as many politicians, bureaucrats and media houses have alleged links in the scam.
Troubles might have started for the party after the arrest of Prashant Dash, the CMD of the Seashore Group, as the CM had inaugurated a news channel owned by the firm. Even the Seashore CMD was also awarded by Odisha’s Health, Cooperative and Tourism departments for the firm’s contribution to the development.
Later, AT Group CMD Pradeep Sethi revealed during interrogation that he had evidence that would expose some politicians and bureaucrats who had backed him.
Meanwhile, Congress alleged that the government’s inaction in the last four years allowed the fraudulent firms to dupe 20 lakh depositors.