Guwahati, July 27: Gauhati High Court has directed Assam police to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate bogus financial companies that are defrauding unsuspecting people.
The high court asked the police to form a special team because it felt that investigations into such cases were not being carried out in a proper manner.
The court said, “In the interest of a large number of people, who were allegedly duped by various companies, the director-general of police, Assam, is directed to constitute the special team with senior officers. It may be empowered to consolidate all identical cases and investigate the same simultaneously.”
The single-judge bench of Justice B.D. Agarwal, while disposing of a criminal petition number 98/2010, said, “It would be pertinent to mention here that very recently, scores of identical cases have been lodged and registered in many police stations across Assam, against various firms and companies, having found prima facie case of fraud upon the public at large by way of floating fictitious/bogus companies or by way of operating money circulation schemes, without obtaining proper licence/permission from appropriate authorities.”
“Many such cases came to the notice of this court while considering bail applications of accused persons and it was found that the investigation was either slow or not being conducted in a scientific manner,” Justice Agarwal said in his order.
A certified copy of the order, passed on July 20, was made available to The Telegraph today.
The court said one such case was pending investigation for over one-and-a-half years and the investigating officer had not been able to come to a definite conclusion.
“This may be because of the complex nature of the issue involved therein,” the court observed.
The single-judge bench ruled that keeping in mind the legal issues involved in the cases and in the interest of a large number of people, the SIT, with senior officers should be constituted to probe such cases.
“Such an approach would not only expedite the investigation of a large number of cases; it will also bring the cases to their logical conclusion with sound reasoning, in view of manifold evidence, which may come in different cases,” the court order said.
This particular order has not only thrown light on how a section of financial companies are duping gullible depositors, but also exposed tardy or shoddy investigation carried out by the police authorities in such cases of financial fraud.
These bogus companies approach the public with a promise to give huge returns on their investments, and induce a large number of people to invest in their companies. However, most of the companies do a vanishing act without making any payment to their customers. Apart from the offence of cheating, such businesses also attract penal provisions of Prize Chits and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, 1978.