Tripura refers 74 chit fund scam cases to CBI: CM

In keeping with its poll promise, the BJP-IPFT government in Tripura has referred 74 cases on chit fund scams, running into hundreds of crores, to the CBI, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb today said.

The 74 cases, till now being investigated by a Special Investigation Team (SIT), have been referred to the Central probe agency, the chief minister told reporters here.

"The investigative agency has already agreed to investigate 11 cases. We hope they will take up all of them," Deb said.

The chief minister said, "It was our poll pledge that proper investigation of chit fund related cases would be done through the CBI.... Our Cabinet has decided to refer the cases to them."

Nearly Rs 147 crore was lost in the chit fund scam in these 11 cases and the quantum of public deposit would be clear after investigation begins in all the cases, Deb said.

In the run up to the Assembly polls, the BJP- -Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) alliance had announced to hand over the investigation into the Rose Valley scam to CBI immediately after coming to power in the state in March this year.

The 11 cases which were earlier taken up by the CBI include cases against Rose Valley, Response Group, Basil International, I Core and Waris Group of Companies.

The chief minister said the erstwhile Left Front government had paved the way for exploitation of people through chit funds.

"They granted licenses to chit funds, No Objection Certificates (NOC) and also inaugurated events," Deb said in an oblique reference to former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who attended an event of the Rose Valley group in an amusement park here in 2008.

Sarkar had later claimed that his government was unaware of the real intentions of the chit fund companies.

The CBI on April 25 had questioned former Tripura minister Bijita Nath in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam. Nath was the social welfare minister in the previous Manik Sarkar government in the state.

Tripura Speaker Rebati Mohan Das had said on April 24 that the CBI had informed him that it would quiz Nath and another CPI(M) MLA Badal Choudhury, in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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