Thursday 26 May 2022
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Saradha employees culpable too

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Saradha series logoKolkata — They are not Sudipta Sen, Debjani Mukherjee and Kunal Ghosh alone who are responsible for swindling money of investors in the infamous Saradha group financial scandal. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has indicted the promoters, directors and other management staff of 14 companies of the group on various charges.

The staff of the Saradha group, as per the SFIO, collected money from gullible investors illegally, gave false assurances to the people and wrong statements to investigating agencies, cheated people even otherwise and indulged in conspiracies that invite criminal proceedings.

The way the staff collected money from the customers was totally Ponzi-like: Paying old investors from the money collected from the new victims! The companies had no provision to invest the money in projects from the possible profit of which the investors could be paid off, said a source in the SFIO.

Since his arrest, Sen had been alleging that the Saradha fraud case involved several high-ranking officers of the group. The SFIO has lent credence to the claim.

The indicted staff of the Saradha group are prosecutable on at least three counts according to the SFIO: The 1956 Company Law, SEBI regulations and various Sections of the IPC. The evidence in support of the charges have been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as it is the principal agency investigating the case. However, the SFIO is within its rights to penalise the violators as per its own provisions too. The chief charge will be of violating SEBI regulations, as that invites maximum punishment; the penalty for breaking the Company Law is relatively mild in the statutes. The former invites a longer jail sentence, for one.

Along with Sen, Mukherjee and Ghosh, Manoj Nagel, Arvind Chauhan and Sen’s driver are in jail. Somnath Dutta is out on bail. Now the alleged crimes of Sen’s second wife, son Subhojit and many employees of the Saradha group will fall under the SFIO’s jurisdiction. The SFIO will have initiated its cases by the the finishes its probe and initiates legal proceedings against the accused. The cases will drag in hitherto unknown names that could face stringent sentences once convicted of being participants in the gigantic fraud.

Tomorrow: Culpability of local football clubs.

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Surajit Dasgupta
Surajit Dasgupta
Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sirf News Surajit Dasgupta has been a science correspondent in The Statesman, senior editor in The Pioneer, special correspondent in Money Life, the first national affairs editor of Swarajya, executive editor of Hindusthan Samachar and desk head of MyNation

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