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SC rejects Trinamool plea opposing CBI probe of Saradha scam

The Supreme Court today rejected the plea of Trinamool Congress to appoint a special investigation team and monitor the CBI investigation into the Saradha chit fund scam.

The court also declined to pass any order on the allegation of the party that the CBI was leaking information regularly to the media. “If anyone is aggrieved, they can pursue the legal remedies available under law,” the bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said. The court further said that there was no allegation that the CBI was not conducting the probe in the manner it was expected to do.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal representing the West Bengal government alleged that there was an unusual amount of leaks from the CBI, which should be stopped. Counsel Vivek Thanka for TMC submitted that the leaks have taken a political colour. “CBI probe is welcome, but it should be impartial  and it should not be made into a political trial joining hands with the media,” Thanka said.

Sibal sought a time frame for completion of the investigation and trial in view of hundreds of cases involving Saradha case and other matters. However, the court did not pass any order on his plea.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said that the CBI was investigating the Rs 10,000-crore scam involving more than 18 lakh investors. “Every day something new was turning up. Moreover, the agency was also suffering from shortage of personnel and infrastructure,” he said. Kumar alleged that CBI investigators are being harassed, thus making it difficult for them to do their job.

The judges asked the CBI officer in charge of investigation who was in the court to explain media leaks. He replied that the organisation never interacted with the media and that the media attributes the leaks to “CBI sources” only to add credibility to its news.

In May last year, the court had entrusted the investigation to the CBI as the scam was spread over several north-eastern states and the state police could not undertake the task because several higher ups were involved.

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