October 16, 2013

PM's help sought on Saradha solatium

TNN Oct 8, 2013, 04.12AM IST

NEW DELHI: CPM leaders Sitaram Yechury and Surjya Kanta Mishra have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention so that payment is made to victims of Saradha scam who lost their deposits. They have also demanded Supreme Court-monitored CBI probe into the scam.
Left leaders have suggested that prompt payment be made promptly by attaching the properties of Saradha Group in accordance with law and order as also directed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India ( Sebi) in April. They pointed out the solution is not giving grant through the Commission as is being done by the state government. "This process should start immediately with focus on attachment and disposal of properties, along with punishment for the offending group," the duo wrote to PM. Yechury and Mishra also met corporate affairs minister Sachin Pilot on Monday.
Talking to journalists, Yechury said, "The loss of time in attaching their properties is permitting these companies to clandestinely transfer their assets. We feel there is a complicity of the state government in blocking investigations and not attaching the properties." He said investors' money should be refunded through an auction of the assets of these companies. "To dole out some money out of its coffers to some of the lakhs of small investors who have invested their life's savings, is illegal," he added.
Yechury pointed out that the total fraud by the chit fund companies amounts to Rs 1 lakh crore out of which Rs 30,000 crore is by Saradha alone. "State government has created a fund of Rs 500 crore to pay investors. But it is less than 1% of the total value of scam," he said.
The letter to the PM also said that in the light of allegations made by one sitting Rajya Sabha member of Trinamool Congress against a senior party leader of having financial relations with Saradha Group, there is a need for immediate CBI inquiry. Yechury asked, "Why is he just threatening? He should give out the names. He should also cooperate with the SFIO (Serious Fraud Investigation Office) probe. He should have the courage to do that."
As to what action the erstwhile Left Front government had taken against such frauds, Mishra said it had not only attached the properties of such firms and compensated the victims, but also moved a PIL in the Calcutta high court. "After that, we also got a unanimous resolution adopted in the state Assembly. Even if the relevant legislation of the state government is pending, why are they not going by the high court verdict and attaching the properties of these fraudulent companies?" Mishra asked.

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