Kolkata, Oct 15 (PTI) Accusing the West Bengal government of inaction to address the concern of those duped by chit funds, the Left Front and the Congress on Thursday asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to take possession of the properties of ponzi firm owners and sell them to return money to the deceived investors.
Seven years have passed after the 'plunder of money deposited by poor people in ponzy firms like Saradha, Rose Valley and Alchemist', but no report of the special investigation team (SIT) or the Justice Shyamal Sen Commission was brought to public domain, Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan and Left Front Legislative Party Leader Sujan Chakraborty said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had in April 2013 announced setting up of a Rs 500-crore fund for paying back small and medium investors, who were allegedly duped by the Saradha Group. She set up the one-man commission headed by Justice Shyamal Sen for the task.
The Commission, which was later entrusted to look into the cases of other ponzi companies' investors, was wound up in October 2014 before it could finish its assignment.
The accused chit fund companies collected thousands of crores of rupees from the general public luring them with abnormally high returns but subsequently failed to deliver.
The state government had also constituted an SIT to probe the ponzi scandal.
Mannan and Chakraborty demanded that 'appropriate steps be taken on an urgent basis for returning the duped money to the poor depositor, proper punishment to all those involved in the gigantic scandal, identifying the properties of chit fund owners, taking possession of those properties for sale in market and distribute the recovered money among those duped.' In a joint letter to the chief minister, the two leaders also demanded that the next of kin of those depositors who had committed suicide during these years, be given Rs 10 lakh each as compensation by the government.
They alleged that there is sufficient ground to prove that both the central and state governments are taking unnecessary time to complete the investigation process.
'The state government is not cooperating in the expected way with the Calcutta High Court appointed committee formed to recover money from the seized property of chit fund owners and distribute among the duped depositors. The role of central investigating agency is also not positive,' the letter read.
It also claimed that ruling party legislators 'either get jittery or turn aggressive whenever faced with any query about chit fund in the Assembly.' PTI SUS NN NN