The Supreme Court had handed over the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam probe to the central probe agency earlier and asked the state governments concerned to provide all logistical help to the team investigating the matter.
CBI officials carried out searches at the offices of three Sebi officials. (Photo: Reuters/Representational image)
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday carried out searches at the offices of three Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) officials in connection with their alleged role in shielding Saradha ponzi scheme operators.
Officials from the CBI confirmed the development to news agency PTI and added that the names of the three officers have been withheld.
It may be noted that there are multiple FIRs against the Saradha group in West Bengal. It has been alleged that thousands of investors were allegedly duped by Saradha Group officials and associates who swindled their deposits.
The Supreme Court had handed over the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam probe to the central probe agency and asked the state governments concerned to provide all logistical help to the team investigating the matter.
Saradha scam details
The Saradha group of companies had allegedly duped investors of around Rs 2,500 crore, promising higher returns on their investments. The chit fund scam was unearthed in 2013.
It may be noted that former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar was part of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the West Bengal government for probing the scam.
However, the Supreme Court handed over the case to the CBI in 2014 along with other chit fund cases.
In November 2019, the apex court had sought the response of the IPS officer on the CBI’s appeal challenging the anticipatory bail granted to him in the chit fund scam by the Calcutta High Court.
The probe agency had filed an appeal in the apex court against the October 1, 2019 order of the Calcutta High Court, which had granted Kumar the relief saying it was not an appropriate case for custodial interrogation.
The high court had directed Kumar to cooperate with the investigating officers and make himself available before them for questioning on a 48-hour notice by the CBI.
On September 21, 2019, a pre-arrest bail plea of the IPS officer was rejected by the Alipore District and Sessions Court in Kolkata.
The Centre and the West Bengal government were also locked in an unprecedented standoff after a CBI team had reached Kumar’s official residence for questioning him, but had to retreat as the local police detained its officers.
(With PTI inputs)