In a major hearing pertaining to chit fund case in Odisha, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file status report by January 7.
The Apex court has asked the investigating agency to let it know about the latest development of the case on Saturday.
According to sources, the Apex Court slammed CBI on the tardy progress of the case. It had asked the CBI to specify steps being taken by the Odisha government to refund money to the chit fund beneficiaries.
A two-judge bench comprising Justice MR Saha and Justice Krishnamurari expressed displeasure over the Odisha government’s delay in refunding money to the beneficiaries and directed the Odisha government as well as the CBI to submit a status report on the development of the case by Saturday.
Speaking to reporters, petetioner's lawyer, Jitendra Mohapatra said, "The Supreme Court did not pass any written order. However, the two-bench judge took serious observation of the chit fund case and said this is not a matter to be taken lightly and the CBI is not investigating properly and in a timely manner."
In its hearing, the bench again made it clear that Supreme Court just cannot spend 10-15 years for hearing a case. The CBI has also been asked as to why it has failed to submit its chargesheet in this connection.
Besides, the court has asked the CBI not to linger the case anymore.
Commenting on the decision, Convenor of the Chit Fund Investor's Front, Jayant Das said, "This rebuke by the Supreme Court will definitely bring the investigating agency on the right track. It will also help State government mend ways."
It is pertinent to mention that Seashore Chit Fund firm was the first company that came under the scanner of the Supreme Court and, consequently, the court directed the CBI to investigate 44 chit fund companies.
Meanwhile, political mudslinging have begun following the Supreme Court observation. While, BJD raised questions on CBI's credibility, the BJP asked why the BJD does not refund money to the beneficiaries from the corpus fund constituted for the same.
BJD MLA, Amar Satapathy said, "This proves that the CBI does not always work efficiently. The Central investigating agency now has an credibility issue."
"CBI is investigating. But what about the State government and the corpus fund they had created to refund the money. Why do not they use it for so many years," asked Golak Mohapatra, General secretary, State BJP.