HC Ticks Off WB Govt Over Change In Stand On Panel


Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday ticked off the West Bengal government over its change in stand on a court-appointed committee to identify and sell assets of chit fund company MPS Group and give the proceeds to investors who were allegedly duped.

A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi questioned the state government as to why it was taking different stands when the advocate general (AG) told the court that there was an Act for the protection of investors.

AG Jayanta Mitra submitted that a remedy to the woes of investors could be found in West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Act, 2013.

The chief justice was, however, not pleased with the government’s submission, observing that the Act was primarily for penal action against those who indulge in activities to dupe investors.

The bench said that the one-man committee set up by the high court was meant to identify assets held by MPS Group, auction these and then distribute the proceeds to investors.

The court had set up the one-man Justice (retd) S P Talukdar Committee, which had in July last complained of non-cooperation by the government by not appointing a nodal officer for the panal.

At this, the AG said that he had talked of the provision of the Act as per the order of the high court and submitted that the state would take steps as per the order of the court.

Justice Chellur, who is going to take over as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court on August 24, sent the matter to a special bench for further hearing.