Saradha scam: CBI to examine RBI officials

New Delhi, Nov 2: CBI will soon examine some Reserve Bank of India (RBI) officials in connection with the Saradha scam probe as it has found certain instances for which clarification is needed from authorities in the bankers' bank.

CBI sources said that Saradha had not been operating as a Non-Banking Finance Company, hence RBI had hardly any role in regulating its operations, but the agency has come across some inputs which require clarification from the central bank. The sources, however, clarified that examining an official should not be taken to mean complicity in an alleged crime.

"The examination will be aimed at understanding the circumstances and seeking clarification about documents," an official said.

The agency will also examine RBI officials to understand the regulatory loopholes which were allegedly exploited by the operators of the chit fund scheme, the sources said.

They said that the company was running a form of collective investment scheme which is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, adding that the senior officials of that regulatory body have also been examined.

Saradha had allegedly violated the SEBI Act and regulations, the sources added. The agency has already filed a 25-page charge sheet along with annexures containing the names of three accused -- Sudipta Sen, Debjani Mukherjee and Kunal Ghosh, the last being a suspended TMC Rajya Sabha MP who had worked with Sen, the Saradha founder.

CBI is now working to decipher criminal conspiracy and the alleged involvement of regulatory bodies which purportedly acted late on Saradha, thereby allowing it to collect massive deposits from gullible investors.

Five companies -- Saradha Tours and Travels, Saradha Gardens, Saradha Realty, Saradha Constructions, and Strategic Media, a company owned by Kunal Ghosh -- were also named in the charge sheet, the sources said.

The charge sheet was filed under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and cheating and also under sections 4 and 6 of the Prize, Chit and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978.


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