Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court has rejected the bail granted to two senior officials of Tower Infotech Ltd, a Odisha-based chit fund company, by the Orissa High Court.
While hearing the plea of the CBI on Tuesday, a division bench of Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Sanjeev Khanna observed, “This court is conscious of the need to view such economic offences having a deep-rooted conspiracy and involving a huge loss of investors’ money seriously. Though further investigation is going on, as of now, the investigation discloses that the respondent played a key role in the promotion of the chit fund scam described supra (the citation of a court decision which has been previously mentioned), thereby cheating a large number of innocent depositors and misappropriating their hard-earned money.”
The apex court also maintained that the Orissa HC should not have released the two accused— Ramendu Chattopadhyay and Ashis Chatterjee— CMD and director respectively of the Ponzi firm, which was accused of collecting funds amounting to Rs 25.59 crore from the public in the name of huge returns, but did not repay amount to the tune of Rs 15.69 crore.
The CBI, which lodged an FIR on a direction by the apex court in 2014 in Saradha-chit fund scam, contended that during the periods of bail of the accused, not a single property of the company could be sold, despite the efforts made by a one-man committee headed by Justice SP Talukdar for this purpose. The central investigating agency had questioned the orders of the High Court in granting a repeated extension of interim bail to the two accused.
Notably, the CBI on November 4, 2015, had conducted a simultaneous raid on 10 locations of the Tower Infotech Group in Delhi, Odisha, Assam and West Bengal.