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Fresh trouble for fund firm

Cuttack, April 22: Orissa High Court today issued fresh directions to the CBI to submit within three months a status report on the probe which it had ordered against an investment company.

The court had earlier ordered the probe while adjudicating a petition filed by All-India Networkers’ Welfare Trust’s seeking refund of money invested by its members with online marketing company Fine Indisales Private Limited.

The court said the issue of refund would be considered only after it receives the probe report. On December 12, 2012, the high court had asked the CBI to conduct a probe on the matter. Bangalore-based All-India Networkers’ Welfare Trust filed the petition seeking refund of money invested by its members from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh after the company published in its website: “Refund option has been suspended awaiting results from appropriate company court and the matter is pending before Orissa High Court.”

During the course of investigation into the Balasore chit fund scam, a CID-crime branch joint team of state police had resorted to freezing the bank accounts of Fine Indisales Private Limited.

Subsequently, Fine Indisales Private Limited had filed a petition in Orissa High Court seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings, seizure and de-freezing of the accounts basing upon a FIR registered at Khunta police station in Balasore district. The case has been pending in the high court since 2009.

The Balasore chit fund scam involved collection of crores of rupees from more than a lakh poor and unsuspecting depositors in Odisha by offering attractive interest rates and returns.

The money was then diverted to other companies and used in several other aspects, which impinged on financial regulations of the country and also the Reserve Bank of India guidelines.

While asking the CBI to probe into the matter on December 12, last year, the high court expected it to submit a status report within three months.

The court also directed the state crime branch to assist the CBI in the investigations.

The CBI, however, submitted an application for infrastructure support from the state government on April 10, to proceed with the investigation after examining the records made available by the state CID-crime branch.