New Delhi: More than eight years after the Supreme Court handed over the investigation of the Saradha chit fund scam to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the lakhs of poor people who invested and lost their money in the scam continue to wait for justice. Apart from the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also investigating the scam.
Neither in the Saradha scam, nor in the Rose valley chit fund scam or the Narada sting operation that revealed politicians taking money to give favours to individuals, have either of these two agencies been able to put any of the accused political leaders behind bars, or file for a closure of the case.
The majority of the named and unnamed politicians in the case belonged to the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC). Some of them have now moved to the other parties, including the BJP.
This approach in investigating these scams, that originated in West Bengal, is in sharp contrast to the swift work that is being done by these agencies against the RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family members for their alleged involvement in scams, including the most recent “land-for-job” scam, in which the agency filed a FIR in May and named more than 15 accused, including Lalu, his wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi and their two daughters.
Earlier this week, the agency arrested Bhola Yadav, former Officer of Special Duty (OSD) of Lalu and someone who is considered as his Man-Friday for his alleged role in the scam in which Lalu, along with his family members, allegedly took land from those who sought government job when he was the railway minister during 2004-2009.
In comparison to those who were allegedly affected by the land-for-job scam, the number of those who lost their entire livelihood during the Saradha and the Rose valley scams is much larger. Similarly, in the Narada scam, the face and the action of the politicians caught on the camera are clearly visible, unlike in the land-for-job scam. Yet, the agencies have not been able to arrest any of the TMC politicians for their alleged role in these scams.
According to a CBI official who was a part of the Saradha scam investigation, “procedural delays” have stopped the agency from taking the next step, which consisted of calling in and arresting the named politicians.
Some of those who were caught on camera in the Narada scam include Mukul Roy, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Madan Mitra, Saugata Roy, Sovan Chatterjee, Sultan Ahmed, Iqbal Ahmed, Suvendu Adhikari, Prasun Banerjee and Subrata Mukherjee.
In May last year, Subrata Mukherjee, Firhad Hakim, Madan Mitra and Sovan Chatterjee were arrested by the CBI for their involvement in the scam, and were later released on bail three days later.