In the Saradha chit fund scam CBI has filed a contempt plea before the Supreme Court against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for “constant, deliberate and wilful non-cooperation” in the probe and of “a concerted effort to evade, avoid and escape the process of law” and “scuttle the investigation”.
In its application the CBI said that examination of one of the accused in the case, former Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Kumar Ghosh, by the Enforcement Directorate had “revealed that the Chief Minister, West Bengal, and promoter of M/s Saradha Group Shri Sudipta Sen had very good relationship”, and cited call data records to show that Ghosh and Sen were in constant touch.
CBI said, “revealed that… (MP) Ghosh used to direct… (Saradha promoter) Sen to pay money to different Durga Puja Committees” and that “when the Chief Minister, West Bengal, contested for MLA seat… Sen was forced to sponsor all the Pujas of Bhawanipur, Kolkata”.
CBI in its application said that it had found that Rs 6.21 crore was paid from the CM’s Relief Fund to Tara TV, which was part of the Saradha Group, “at the rate of Rs 27 lakh per month”, from May 2013 to April 2015.
“In order to further look into the gravely suspicious payments to a clouded private media entity, a letter dated 16.10.2018 was written to the Chief Secretary, West Bengal, to provide information about the constitution and functioning of the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Despite repeated efforts, the state government has parted with incomplete and evasive replies,”.
CBI accusing the Mamata government of not sharing “a list containing names of certain influential persons and a synopsis of evidence against them”, which had been earlier submitted by the state to the Supreme Court. “State Police did not provide the information on record despite repeated requests.”
CBI said, among other things, an investigating officer under the direct supervision of Kumar had handed over “crucial original, primary and fundamental evidence such as laptops, mobile phones etc… to the main accused”. The agency said this was done “to destroy the evidence prior to the transfer of the case to the CBI”.