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CBI Officer Probing Ponzi Scam Doesn't Have to Appear Before Kolkata Court as HC Sets Aside Order

A case filed was filed at Ballygunge police station after a few hundred investors of Rose Valley ponzi scheme stormed a south Kolkata hotel, which was run by the chit fund company, demanding their money be returned.

PTI

Updated:February 26, 2019, 6:18 PM IST
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CBI Officer Probing Ponzi Scam Doesn't Have to Appear Before Kolkata Court as HC Sets Aside Order
File Photo of Calcutta High Court.
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Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday set aside the directions of a magistrate court, which asked a CBI officer investigating the Rose Valley ponzi scam to appear before it and produce certain documents related to the investigation.

Justice Shivakant Prasad, while hearing a petition by the CBI challenging the Alipore magistrate court's order, said the officer would not have to appear before the lower court or produce documents pertaining to the scam.

The high court had on February 13 stayed the order of the Alipore court.

A case filed was filed at Ballygunge police station after a few hundred investors of Rose Valley ponzi scheme stormed a south Kolkata hotel, which was run by the chit fund company, demanding their money be returned.

Claiming that a CBI inspector was harassing them in connection with the probe, four of these investors had filed a case before the magistrate court at Alipore, which was hearing the matter relating to the hotel rampage.

The magistrate court directed the CBI officer to appear before the court and produce certain documents in connection with its investigation into the ponzi scam before it on February 14.

Challenging the magistrate court's order, the CBI moved the high court.

Additional Solicitor General Kaushik Chanda had submitted before Justice Prasad that the magistrate court here can adjudicate a criminal case involving the rampage at the hotel, but it cannot enlarge the scope and encroach upon the arena of investigation of the central agency, which was ordered by the Supreme Court.

Advocate General Kishore Dutta, representing the West Bengal government, had said the Supreme Court had asked the CBI and the state to work in tandem.

Stating that the magistrate had ordered the investigating officer of Ballygunge police station to work in accordance with law, Dutta wondered as to how it is in contravention of the Supreme Court order.

Opposing the submission, the ASG said the CBI had moved the apex court as the state government was not cooperating with the investigation and was instead trying to harass the investigators.

It was on this prayer of CBI seeking direction to the West Bengal government to cooperate, that the Supreme Court had directed the agency and the state to work in tandem, Chanda submitted, claiming that the direction cannot be interpreted in the way the Advocate General did.

The Additional Solicitor General also claimed that the magistrate order was passed on the basis of a malafide application with ulterior motive to harass CBI officers investigating the ponzi scam.

He submitted that a special CBI court at Bhubaneswar has jurisdiction over the central agency's investigation into the ponzi scam and the local court here cannot encroach upon it.
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