Can't Rule Out CBI’s ‘Other Intentions’ Behind Stretching Saradha & Narada Cases, Says Agency's Former Top Official

Kolkata: Amid the ongoing probes in the cases related to the Saradha chit fund scam and the Narada sting, former Trinamool Congress (TMC) minister and chairperson of West Bengal Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Development Finance Corporation (WBSCSTDFC) Upendranath Biswas on Tuesday expressed dissatisfaction over the way the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is moving ahead with them.

Biswas, who retired as additional director of the CBI in 2002, questioned the probe agency’s intention behind stretching the cases too far.

“I am thoroughly dissatisfied with the way CBI is moving ahead with these chit fund cases. I would like to be on record that I am not happy with the way CBI is going ahead with the investigation,” he told in an interview.

Biswas stated he was not defending the TMC MPs and MLAs and the cases should not require more than four months to investigate.

“Of the 27 CBI directors, I have worked with most of them. I have some knowledge. We have given our blood to maintain the CBI’s tradition. I must say that the Saradha and Narada cases were dealt with miserably,” he said.

Biswas, a 1968 batch IPS officer (West Bengal cadre), first came into the limelight for pursuing the involvement of two former chief ministers of Bihar -- Jagannath Mishra and Lalu Prasad Yadav -- in the Rs 950 crore-fodder scam. Biswas is hailed as an anti-corruption crusader.

“It seems that either they (CBI officials) are inefficient or some of them are corrupt. There could be some other intention also behind stretching this case too far,” he said. “The high court had said that the Narada tapes are genuine, why are they taking more than three years to probe this case? I have doubts there is something wrong somewhere.”

About former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s alleged involvement in the Saradha scam, Biswas said it is a fact that there is no chargesheet against him. “The CBI interrogated him for several days (in Shillong and in Kolkata). Now they want his custodial interrogation. Why?” he asked. “This mean that you don’t have enough material to submit a chargesheet against him. Who knows the integrity of some officers is questionable?”

On the current working conditions in CBI and its former director Alok Verma, Biswas said, “I felt hurt that Verma started a case against former special director (CBI) Rakesh Asthana against whom neither the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) nor the high court found anything wrong. In the Supreme Court as well, all the material was produced, but Verma is so shrewd that he got a case registered against Asthana. Today, Asthana could not become the CBI director. So who became the victim here? Asthana, of course. I feel that after the tenure of Ranjit Sinha, the CBI has started deteriorating.”