Patra commission seeks term extension

Bhubaneswar: Justice R K Patra Commission of Inquiry, probing into multi-crore chit fund scam in the state has sought six-month extension of its term to complete the process to identify individuals and entities indulged in unauthorised collection of public deposits in the State. Highly placed sources said, the one-man commission has written a letter in this regard to the State Home Department. 
Besides, Justice Patra, the retired Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court has also asked the state government to appoint three judges to look into the veracity of the affidavits filed before the probe panel. 
Notably, the commission has extended its deadline thrice to receive affidavits from investors till October 31 as a number of affected persons expressed their eagerness to file complaints, it said.
Sources said, the commission has so far received nearly eight lakh affidavits and the number is expected to rise by a lakh.
However, the commission will only receive complaints sent through couriers and post. No investors would be allowed this time to submit their complaint at the commission office at Bhubaneswar, it said.
In July, the state government had appointed Justice Patra to head the one-man judicial panel to probe into the chit-fund scam in Odisha and gave three months time to complete the task and submit a report. The commission was also expected to find out the involvement of influential persons in protecting and promoting such illegal activities in the state as several media reports indicated nexus between politicians and chit fund companies.
The mulit-crore chit fund scam came to light after many investors last year complained that several firms collected huge amounts of money from them, promising high returns, but later refused to pay them back as promised.