Legal experts question police decision of not filing FIR based on Senís 18-page letter

POLICE probing the collapse of Saradha Group, which allegedly duped small investors, should have lodged an FIR on the basis of the 18-page letter that the CMD of the group, Sudipta Sen, sent to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), feel legal experts.

In the letter dated April 6, Sen had listed serious charges like criminal intimidation, cheating, fraud and criminal conspiracy against several people, including some Trinamool Congress leaders. The CBI, which had received the letter while Sen was on the run, forwarded it to Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate and Bidhannagar Electronics Complex police station on April 19. But till date, police have not taken any action based on the letter.

Debasish Roy, former public prosecutor, said police should have filed the FIR on the basis of the letter and there was no legal impediment to it. "Police have the power to lodge the FIR on the basis of any complaint, which has enough material of cognizable offence. Sen's letter had made some specific criminal allegations against some persons," Roy said.

Eminent criminal lawyer Ashoke Bakshi agreed to Roy's viewpoint. He said police should not have ignored the letter. "One reason why the police probably did not act on it may be because the letter had surfaced in the second week of April when the affairs of Sen and Saradha Group had already got exposed in the media and created massive impact among the public," he added.

Lawyer Chandrai Alam, however, said police could have lodged the FIR on the basis of the letter if they wanted to deal with it in a proper way.

"If police lodged an FIR on the basis of the letter, it does not mean that Sen cannot be treated as an accused in other case," she said.

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