BHUBANESWAR: Calling the response of the Naveen Patnaik Government to his continued plea to expose the chit fund scam as lackadaisical, former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik has reiterated his demand for an SIT probe under a High Court judge and constituting a corpus fund.
In yet another letter to the Chief Minister on Tuesday, the senior Congress leader reminded him that he has sent three letters drawing his attention to the politico-bureaucratic support that facilitated defrauding of large number of small depositors by nonbanking finance companies (NBFCs) and the cover-up being attempted during the course of criminal investigation.
“I am aghast to see that your police have now issued notices to entities said to have taken loan from one of the NBFCs, Artha Tatwa (AT). During discussions with lawyers I have been told that this decision to issue notice appears to be an attempt to support the possible defence claim of the AT Group and is entirely ill-advised. AT can now claim that it raised money from the market as debentures and loaned them out to identifiable entities for legitimate purpose. So, there has been no wrongful loss to the depositors,” Niranjan Patnaik wrote to the Chief Minister.
He said the question is what authorised the AT Group to disburse loans like a bank, particularly unsecured loans, and whether the entities that availed of such unsecured loans are in a conspiracy under Section 120 of the Indian Penal Code.
“The very agreement between AT and its beneficiaries to be parties to an illegal financial transaction that led to defrauding clearly constitutes a case of conspiracy and I am utterly puzzled by the decision of your police to let all these entities go off the hook. If the transactions between AT and these entities were legal then how can AT be held responsible? AT will show enough documents during trial to argue that it was in a position to return money to the depositors and, therefore, no illegality has been committed. Are the police trying to prosecute AT or trying to build the defence case?” the letter asked.
Patnaik added, “AT CMD Pradip Sethi had clearly implicated Minister and MLAs in his interview to a TV channel. We have all seen and heard his statement. Now, how is that the police are unable to identify the biggies and going after dispensable lightweights. No one in Odisha can trust the claim that Sethi is no longer implicating any Minister or MLA. What caused Sethi’s change of heart for these big people?”