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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday appointed Justice Madan Mohan Das to head the Commission of Inquiry probing multi-crore chit fund scam in Odisha.

The post fell vacant after the death of Justice Radha Krushna Patra who was heading the one-man commission. Patra was undergoing treatment for pneumonia and breathed his last in Cuttack on January 28.

Justice Das is a retired judge of Orissa High Court and hails from a family of lawyers. Born on February 5, 1952, he is the son of renowned HC lawyer Madhabananda Das. A Chemistry graduate from Ravenshaw College, he passed MA in Public Administration from Utkal University and completed his LLB from MS Law College, Cuttack.

In November last year, the State government for the third time gave six months extension to the commission which was set up in July 2013 following a hue and cry as a number of chit fund companies vanished overnight after duping thousands of gullible investors to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees.

Meanwhile, the State government has begun digitisation of chit fund claim documents received by the probe panel to expedite the refund of money to duped investors. In the first phase, a total 2,10,000 claims would be scanned and digitised to segregate the small and large investors. Officials said the commission has so far received about 5.5 lakh claims.

In 2013, the State government had announced the formation of a Rs 300-crore corpus fund to return money to the investors.

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