Remarks of Probe Panel Chief Stoke Political Controversy

Published: 29th April 2016 06:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th April 2016 06:11 AM   |  A+A-

CUTTACK/BHUBANESWAR:  Chairman of the Inquiry Commission on chit fund scam Justice MM Das on Wednesday kicked up a political storm by saying that people became victims of ponzi firms due to their greediness and the Government can do a little in this regard.

Attending a function of the BJD Legal Front on the eve of birth anniversary of Madhusudhan Das and Lawyers’ Day at a local hotel here, chief guest on the occasion Justice Das said out of greediness, people invested money in various chit fund companies which can be considered as an unnatural calamity.

“What can the Government do in this regard? It can only compensate the duped depositors to some extent. It is not justified to return money to the depositors with interest,” Das said in the meeting which was attended by Law Minister Arun Sahu, Cuttack-Barabati MLA Debasis Samantaray and Convener of BJD Legal Front advocate Milan Kanungo.    While Opposition Congress and BJP raised questions over the remarks, Justice Das on Thursday clarified that these were his personal opinions. “I attended the function as a retired judge and not as the Chairman of the Inquiry Commission. The issue is not related to the work of Commission,” Das said.

The Commission has expedited the process of identification of small investors and refunding money to them on a priority basis. About 1000 people have got their money back, Das added.

On the other hand, Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra said a judge or a retired judge appointed to head a Commission by the State Government should not attend function of a political party. This sends a bad message, Mishra said. OPCC president Prasad Harichandan also raised questions about the neutrality of the Commission.

BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said Justice Das should not continue to head the probe panel as the function he attended was organised by a political party.

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