AGARTALA, March 22 – A division bench of the High Court of Tripura has directed the State Government to form a special investigating team to probe all chit fund-related cases.
While hearing a case filed by Dipti Majumder and others against Response Properties Ltd, a non-banking financial company (NBFC), the bench comprising Chief Justice Deepak Gupta and UB Saha said it should be better to have a common investigating team for the entire state to investigate all chit fund-related cases.
The court asked the DGP to look into this aspect of the matter and he may, if possible, constitute a special investigating team to deal with all offences relating to the Tripura Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 2000.
“It has been pointed out to us that most of these companies have headquarters in Kolkata. Therefore, no purpose is served by sending an individual officer in each case to go to Kolkata with no result. It is better that an officer at a higher level should go to Kolkata to investigate all these cases,” the court opined.
The bench further said, “It is not our role to carry out the investigation. That is the job of the police. At the same time, we cannot be immune to the problems faced by the poor investors. They have lost their life’s earnings and it is the duty of all concerned including the administration, the police and this court to make sincere efforts to ensure that justice is delivered to these poor people.”
The court opined that a special investigating team should be constituted for the entire state which should be headed by an officer not lower than the rank of a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police so that he could coordinate with all the SPs of the state. “It is for the police to decide whether there should be a separate investigating team for each district or whether there will be one investigating team for the entire state, but we must have a positive proposal from the DGP within the next two weeks,” it observed.
In its order, the court also expanded the scope of the writ petition by treating it as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in respect of all cases relating to NBFCs in the state.
On April 9, the court will order how such a team is to be constituted after receiving inputs from the state as well as the DGP and the Chief Secretary.
Advocate A Bhowmik, who moved the case in favour of the petitioner, was assisted by advocate R Dutta and A Banik.