People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 18

May 05, 2013




Chit Fund Scam: More Evidences of

TMC –Saradha Nexus Coming Out


From Our Special Correspondent in Kolkata


A BILL to deal with the chit funds was passed by the West Bengal assembly on April 30, but the opposition questioned its validity and said it might go the same way as the Singur Bill on land acquisition which has been declared unconstitutional by the judiciary. The opposition members categorically alleged that some provisions in the bill were not in tune with the constitution, and moved amendments but the state government turned these down. However Left Front did not oppose the bill despite identifying the lacunas.


The bill, moved after storm in the state concerning Saradha chit fund scam, was not much different from the one brought and passed during Left Front government in 2009. That bill was sent for president’s assent but it remained with the centre. That bill was aimed at curbing and controlling the uncanny chit funds and money laundering in the state.


Suryakanta Misra, while deliberating on the bill in assembly, pointed out that there are only two new paragraphs out of 25. A sub clause in the bill is actually in contravention to constitutional principles which may make the whole bill legally invalid. ‘As responsible opposition, we are warning the government to this effect’, Misra commented. This particular clause is tantamount to giving retrospective effect to criminal offences which could have been easily avoided by specifically mentioning that CrPC and SEBI acts would be effective in such cases.


Another visible flaw is the constitution of a “Competent Authority”. In the bill of Left Front government, the district magistrates were designated as competent authority. But in the new bill a special officer will be designated creating confusions and virtual slow down of action.


Surya Kanta Misra said the legislation has led to questions on whether the lakhs of people who parked their funds in the companies would get justice. He expressed fears that it would provide an escape route to those duping the people.


Meanwhile, the police enquiry in the chit fund scam has exposed more and more evidences of the strong link between ruling Trinamul Congress and the scamsters. Already TMC Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, CEO of Saradha group’s media business was interrogated. A number of FIRs have mentioned him as accused. Media reports have mentioned that Mamata Banerjee government has changed Land Ceiling Act to suit the interests of Saradha group who was in a land buying spree. The Act was so changed that more lands can be kept by private entities and private realtors. Police has already got the records of 143 land areas owned by Saradha group. Leaders of ruling party were alleged to receive regular ‘packets’ from the chit fund group. Media reports have also mentioned that at least five ministers were in regular contact with the group. It was also exposed that Trinamul Student wing chief and some TMC-sponsored intellectuals were in the pay roll. TMC also started a TV channel with money from Saradha group which has not started operation till date.


Meanwhile Left mass organisations have decided to hold convention, demonstrations throughout the state demanding justice for the depositors. CPI(M) has organised rallies in the districts.