Latest - TMI e-Newsletter
New User/ Regiser
2022 (9) TMI 175 - Securities / SEBI
Chit funding schemes/scam - Investigation Done by the CBI - Petitioner challenged Investigation of the petitioners by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the ground of lack of jurisdiction - HELD THAT:- The scale and magnitude of the scam commonly termed as the ‘Chit Fund Scam’ deserves investigation by an agency operating at a national level such as the CBI, since the tentacles of such financial scam, which has adversely affected numerous common citizens, have apparently spread over several states of India.
Only the investigation and the trial of the CBI case, on its completion, shall reveal whether the source of money involved in the chit fund scam and rerouting of the huge sums involved can be traced to the petitioner no.1- Company, even if the petitioner, it is assumed is not a chit fund company in the strict sense of the term.
Mere investigation by the CBI, that too, when the criminal proceedings are at the stage of trial and after such a long time subsequent to the unsuccessful challenge to the charges framed, cannot be a violation of any legal or fundamental right of the petitioners. Hence, it cannot be observed that the CBI investigation of the petitioners and the framing of charges are vitiated in any manner, sufficient for the writ court to quash the same.
Even if it is assumed for the sake of argument that the list furnished by the SEBI in connection with this writ, containing the name of the petitioner no. 1 company, has not been proved to have been furnished before the Supreme Court in Subrata Chattaraj [2014 (10) TMI 328 - SUPREME COURT] , due to the reasons as discussed above, even without relying on such list, and irrespective of the fact that the petitioners were not parties to the said litigation, the petitioners clearly come within the broad sweep of the Supreme Court’s directions for investigation relating to the chit fund scam, since charges have been framed against the petitioners long back and after due investigation, the trial of the case is going on at present.
Inasmuch as the formation of the One-Man Committee consisting of a retired Hon’ble Judge of this Court is concerned, there cannot be any rhyme or reason for this Court, sitting in writ jurisdiction, to direct the said committee, out of the blue, to return all documents in its custody to the petitioners, particularly, since such efforts of the petitioners have failed before every competent forum. The petitioner no.2 is in custody for a considerable span of time and since the trial of the CBI case, upon investigation is going on in full swing, there is no substance in the present writ petition.