BHUBANESWAR: The BJP on Wednesday slammed the State Government for misleading people on the agencies investigating into the multi-crore chit fund scam.
While the Government is claiming that the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Crime Branch of Police is probing into the activities of the chit fund companies like Artha Tatwa Group, Seashore Group, ARSS Group, Hi-Tech Group, the Superintendent of Police of the EOW, Bhubaneswar, has said that the investigating agency has not taken over probe of any case against the AT Group of companies.
In two separate letters to the office of the Odisha Governor, the Finance department has said that the EOW of the Crime Branch is investigating the activities of many chit fund companies. The Crime Branch has arrested the CMD of the Seashore Group of Companies Prasant Das, said Joint Director of Institutional Finance S Kanungo.
“It is also understood that the police have filed preliminary chargesheet in a trial court against AT Group CMD Pradeep Sethy and six others accusing them of embezzling public deposits worth crores of rupees,”the July 22 letter of Kanungo said.
While responding to an RTI application of Satyabrata Pradhan of Cuttack, the public information officer-cum-superintendent of police, Economic Offences Wing, informed the applicant on August 22 that the EOW has not taken over investigation of any case against AT Group of Companies.
The PIO-cum-SP further said as per the notification of the State Government on October 29, 2005, the Criminal Investigation Department of the Crime Branch has been exempted from the purview of the RTI Act, 2005.
National BJP vice-president and former Union minister Jual Oram on Wednesday asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to clarify which Government agencies are investigating the chit fund scam of AT Group and Seashore Company.
Claiming that the Commissionerate of Police, Bhubaneswar, is investigating into the cases against AT Group, Oram said the Supreme Court, which is hearing a PIL on the chit fund scam, expressed its displeasure over the slow progress in the investigation by the State agencies.
Oram reiterated his party’s demand for a CBI probe into the scam having inter-State ramifications. The EOW is seriously handicapped in investigating a scam of such magnitude, he said.