State probe for now into Saradha default

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  • Published 20.06.13

Calcutta, June 19: Calcutta High Court today said it “should be slow in exercising” the power to hand over the Saradha probe to the CBI and laid down some directives for the state-appointed special investigation team (SIT).

The interim ruling means that the case will continue to be handled by the SIT till further orders.

“The court definitely has the power to direct the CBI to conduct the investigation, coupled with a direction upon the state authorities to co-operate with the CBI. However, we are cautioned by the apex court time and again. We should be slow in exercising such power,” the division bench of Justices Ashim Kumar Banerjee and Mrinal Kanti Chaudhury said.

The bench said if charges were proved against someone, there should be proceedings against them “irrespective of their colour and creed. For that the entire state machinery could not be blamed.”

The bench said the court would monitor the probe’s progress at regular intervals.

The interim order also included several appeals to the government on the powers that could be given to the Shyamal Sen commission, which is looking into the claims of depositors cheated by money-mobilising companies.

The government counsel had earlier told the court handing over the probe to a central agency would be “premature”.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had referred to the Supreme Court chiding the CBI for sharing details of the coal block probe with officials in the Prime Minister’s Office and some ministers.

Trinamul MPs Kunal Ghosh and Srinjoy Bose were mentioned in a letter purportedly written by Saradha owner Sudipta Sen to the CBI. The names are also mentioned in one of the petitions demanding a probe by a central agency into the default.

“The allegations are serious. More serious the allegation is, the proof must be stricter. The people connected with politics would have to deal with various persons at various levels…. We are told Kunal Ghosh was already examined by the police. If anyone of them would have involvement in the crime, they must be proceeded with, irrespective of their colour and creed. For that the entire state machinery could not be blamed,” the court said.

The court has told the SIT to ensure that other agencies probing the case are given necessary support. Some central agencies had earlier complained of non-cooperation by the state government.

“The SIT would extend all support… asked by any central agency for carrying out investigation at their level, including inspection of records,” the order said.

The counsel appearing for Basabi Roy Chowdhury, one of the petitioners, said: “We are not happy with order and we will move Supreme Court.”