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CBI to investigate four Sebi officials in Saradha scam

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has begun probe against four officials of market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), in the over Rs 10,000 crore Sardha chit fund scam.

The investigation agency is also likely to file a second charge sheet in the matter.

According to sources, the CBI plans to investigate the role of two existing Sebi officials and one ex-Sebi official. The agency will also probe the role of Mr Jash who was mentioned by Saradha chief Sudipta Sen in his purported letter to CBI in 2013.

“The vigilance department’s internal probe report is being examined by CBI to ascertain whether Sebi officials could have played a more pro-active role in uncovering the scam,” said a source.

Earlier, this year the Supreme Court had criticised the role of various regulators for lax approach in handling the scam.

While questioning the role of regulatory authorities in curbing ponzi schemes, the Supreme Court in May had observed, “Investigation conducted so far puts a question mark on the role of regulatory authorities like Sebi, Registrar of Companies (ROC) and officials of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) within whose respective jurisdictions and areas of operation the scam not only took birth but flourished unhindered.”

Sebi first started investigations in Shardha scam based on a complaint from an investor back in 2010. But, the investigation materialised into an order only in October 2013 after the scam first broke out.

Sources indicate that while carrying out investigations in the Shardha scam Sebi met with hurdles as the local police and investigative agencies did not cooperate and failed to give the regulator the desired assistance.

The apex court had ordered the formation of a special investigation team (SIT) for investigations in the scam, the epicenter of which was West Bengal.

An email sent to Sebi did not elicit an response.

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