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JD(U) demands CBI probe into Viniv Inc fraud

Special Correspondent

Police personnel colluded with company: Somashekar

Bangalore: President of the State unit of the Janata Dal (United) B. Somashekar has said the party will take up the cause of the large number of people who have been duped by Viniv Inc. He has demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation to identify the "real culprits".

He told presspersons here on Saturday that the case can be described as a "government-sponsored fraud" since police personnel were allegedly a party to it. He said the Police Department used funds donated by the company to install traffic signals.

Mr. Somashekar said the Government is duty-bound to compensate those who invested in the chit company since it "protected" the promoters. In a similar case in the late 1940s, the then government refunded six annas for every rupee invested in a company run by a fraudster, he added.

He alleged that some important politicians and police officials were connected with the scam. Without their support the company could not have duped people. At one stage the police gave a clean chit to Viniv Inc and this increased investor faith in the organisation, he said.

Mr. Somashekar said that when the matter figured in the Legislative Assembly in March 2005, the Government promised to look into it. However, no action was taken and the culprits continued to lure investors.

Referring to World Bank Country Director (India) Michael Carter's statement that the bank report on corruption has been misrepresented, he said the official has no right to clarify the issue as he was not part of the team which prepared the report.

On British Airways' plan to take Ministers and officials to London on its direct flight from Bangalore, he said it is unethical for them to accept the invitation.

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