Saradha scam: CBI wants Bengal's support for probe

Kolkata, June 11 (IANS) The Calcutta High Court, hearing a petition seeking a CBI probe into the Saradha Group scam, Tuesday was told that it was not possible for the central probe agency to investigate unless it got additional support from the West Bengal government.

"The CBI in its affidavit has said that it is not possible for them to carry out investigation unless the West Bengal government provides them additional support," said Lakshmi Gupta, who has been appointed amicus curiae by the high court.

A division bench of Justice A.K. Banerjee and Justice M.K. Chaudhuri sought Gupta's assistance while hearing a public interest litigation seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the multi-crore scam, and also asked for his advice on whether the probe should be handed over to the central agency.

Questioning the impartiality of the CBI, Gupta referred to recent observations of the Supreme Court about the agency's probe into the coal scam wherein the court had dubbed the agency as a "caged parrot".

The amicus curiae also ruled out the setting up of a committee comprising investigating officers from central agencies and state government, and argued that "it will not be feasible considering the practical side of the investigation".

"It is not important whether the case should be handed over to a particular investigating agency. But what is necessary is to ensure that the investigation reaches a logical conclusion in the shortest span of time," added Gupta.

The court will conclude hearing on the matter Wednesday.

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