Odisha chit fund commission submits fifth report to govt

Bhubaneswar: Justice MM Das Commission of inquiry probing the multi-crore chit fund scam submitted its fifth interim report to the government here today.

The 12,530-page report was submitted to the State Home Secretary after verifying the affidavits produced by small depositors in fifth phase.

The Commission has identified small depositors, who were duped by various chit fund companies across the State, after verifying 2.52 lakh affidavits in the fifth phase.

“Total 1,08,150 small depositors have been identified in the fifth phase of inquiry. They had invested in 290 chit fund companies. The recommendation has been made to the government for refund of their deposits,” said Justice MM Das after submitting the report.

The government has started process to refund the deposits to the small depositors from corpus fund. The authorities are taking step to refund the money by selling the seized properties of chit fund firms to the depositors of the concerned companies, he told reporters.

The sixth phase process has already begun. The depositors will get back their amount after completion of the process. The defective affidavits will be taken into consideration. Meanwhile, the Commission has also received several other affidavits, he said.

Total 1485 small depositors have been refunded their deposits so far. Some chit fund firms also refunding the deposits, he informed the media.

He expressed the difficulties to serve notice to the chit fund firms at their addresses.

“The problem is sometime the notice served to the companies could not be delivered and we are publishing the notice in newspapers. It consumes much time in the probe process,” he said.

However, the depositors will be identified in another one or two phases, he added.

The deposits will be refunded to the small depositors from the corpus fund on priority basis. Later, the process will begin to identify other depositors duped by the chit fund companies recommending the government for refunding their money, Justice Das said.

According to reports, total 486 chit fund firms operated inside Odisha and outside the state were issued the notice by the Commission in fifth phase asking them to appear before it.

During the probe, the panel had identified 7,734 duped investors of Seashore Group, 2,365 of AT Group, 2,965 of Astha International, 6,158 of Navajyoti Realty India Ltd, 2,434 of Sedil Development India, 2,351 of Prayag Group of companies and 1,229 depositors of Shelter Group.

The fourth interim report was submitted on January 18, 2018 recommending the government for payment of deposits to the small investors.

Notably, the government has started refunding the amounts as compensation to small depositors (invested upto Rs 10,000 in chit fund firms) identified by the probing Commission in several phases.

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