Chit fund probe panel again extends deadline for filing affidavits

Bhubaneswar: The Justice R K Patra Commission of Inquiry, probing into the multi-crore chit-fund scam in the state, on Monday extended the deadline for submission of complaints for second time.

"The commission has decided to extend the last date of submission of affidavits to September 30," said Justice Patra.

While the initial deadline for it was fixed for August 31, it was first extended to September 18 when a large number people expressed their desire to file affidavits. So far, it has received more than 2.25 lakh affidavits.

The commission was appointed in May to probe the alleged fraud committed by chit fund companies and suggest ways to safeguard the interest of depositors affected.

As per government estimates, 650,000 persons were duped to the tune of Rs 4,375 crore between January, 2012 and June, 2013, by chit fund companies operating in the state.

The state police and crime branch had taken action against 127 firms, filed 280 cases and arrested more than 300 persons for involvement in the scam. The companies against whom the cases were registered include Seashore group, Arthatatwa and Rose Valley.

The state government has announced a corpus fund of Rs 300 crore to give relief to small investors who have lost their money in the scam.

Recently, the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishment)-2011 Bill has got the Presidential assent. The Bill will arm the state government to initiate punitive action against the offenders.