Bengal govt fined Rs 50L by Calcutta HC for delay in probe handover to CBI – FH

Kolkata, Sep 15 (Fresh Headline) Calcutta High Court’s single judge bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay on Friday slammed the West Bengal government and imposed a financial penalty of Rs 50 lakh for not complying with an earlier order of handing over probe papers related to alleged money laundering by a cooperative society in West Bengal’s Alipurduar district to the CBI. 

Justice Gangopadhyay directed the state government to submit the penalty amount to the office of the Registrar General of Calcutta High Court within the next two weeks.

It also directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to submit all the documents and papers related to the probe to the CBI by September 18. He also cautioned that if his order is not implemented this time he will summon the state chief secretary to the court.

“CID had been enquiring about the matter for quite some time. But it is yet not aware of who all are behind the irregularities. But I know who did that. You are having fun over the money of the poor people. Those who used to roam about in bicycles before are now affording four-wheelers,” said Justice Gangopadhyay.

On August 25 this year, the Calcutta High Court’s Jalpaiguri Circuit Bench ordered a CBI probe over the allegations of money laundering by a cash-lending cooperative society in Alipurduar. The order was based on a petition filed by one Kalpana Das Sarkar at the circuit bench, alleging that the cooperative society first collected huge amounts of deposits from the market from investors and then distributed the money as loans to those associated with it.

Despite not returning the loan even after the lapse of substantial time, no action was initiated against them by the cooperative society authorities for loan recovery. The matter was referred to investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal Police butcould not make any progress in the probe process. Hence the petitioner approached the circuit bench demanding a central agency probe in the case.

However, instead of adhering to the order, the CID approached the bench of Justice Gangopadhyay for reconsideration of the earlier order by the Jalpaiguri circuit bench. On Friday that plea by CID was dismissed. As per estimated the total fund defalcation in the matter is around Rs 50 crore which has been duped from as many as 21,163 investors who had deposited their hard-earned money to that cooperative society.

–Fresh Headline