Assam govt first to refer Saradha group case to CBI: Gogoi

New Delhi, May 8: Assam government was the first to take action against Saradha group chit fund company and recommended CBI probe into the scam, the state chief minister Tarun Gogoi said.

"Government of Assam is the first where we initiated action more than one year before. Not only that we have referred that case to CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). CBI will take their action. We are the first, till no government has referred (the case) to the CBI," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters.

Gogoi was in New Delhi to finalise the plan size for the state for 2013-14 with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

He also said the state government has referred about 15 companies to the CBI and as many as 150 bank accounts have been freezed amounting to around Rs 40 crore.

"We are referring 15 companies, not only one company. In fact I tell you 150 bank accounts ... to stop the release. Their Rs 40 crore freezed also," Gogoi said.

He said Assam took the step much before and an Act has also been passed to protect the interest of depositors.

The Assam assembly has amended the Assam Protection of Interest of Depositors (in Financial Establishment) Act, 2000, which is expected to get governor's consent soon.

The amendment contains detailed preventive and punitive provisions with regard to operation of financial institutions in the state.

Saradha group companies, which operate in West Bengal and adjoining eastern states, are accused of duping thousands of investors money in Bengal.

Chairman Sudipto Sen along with two others, Debjani Mukherjee and Arvind Singh Chauhan, are currently in police custody. Assam had ordered a CID enquiry into operations of chit funds two years back.


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