The Karnataka government led by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has decided to transfer the probe into the multi crore IMA Jewels halal Ponzi scheme case to the CBI. This revelation was made by the state government counsel during a proceeding involving the case in the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday. This development was preceded by the CMâ€™s decision to transfer the probe of the recent phone-tapping scandal to the same central agency.
One of the petitions demanding swift relief for the victims had asked the court to direct the government to handover the case to CBI. Reacting to the state governmentâ€™s submission, the High Court has asked the CBI to file a status report by September 12.
The HC has also asked the government to appoint a permanent competent authority under the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments (KPID) Act to recover the money lost by the unsuspecting victims.
Until now, the Special Investigation Team formed by former CM HD Kumaraswamy had been probing the case and have arrested more than 20 accused including the prime accused and IMA MD Mansoor Khan.
Read: Ponzi Schemes: What they are and how not to fall for one
Incidentally, the Enforcement Directorate, another central investigation body which was also probing the case and shared Mansoor Khanâ€™s custody, had questioned the involvement of the police.
Even the SIT had conducted searches at the office of Inspector General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department and Economic Offences and even the office of former Inspector General of Police of Anti-Corruption Bureau Hemanth Nimbalkar.
Other than Mansoor Khan, former Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner Vijay Shankar (IAS), Assistant Commissioner of the Revenue Department LC Nagaraj, BDA Executive Engineer Kumar, city corporator Syed Mujahid, one religious preacher and village accountant Manjunath among others, have also been arrested.
The SIT had also issued notices to former ministers Zameer Ahmed Khan and Roshan Baig as their names cropped up in the case. Baig was named in the first audiotape released by IMA founder and Managing Director Mansoor Khan, after the latter went absconding. In that tape, Khan had alleged that the senior Congress MLA had not returned Rs 400 crore loan he had taken from him. While initially Baig claimed that he did not know Mansoor Khan, outgoing Revenue Minister RV Deshpande said Baig had accompanied Mansoor Khan to his chamber.
Zameer, in his 2018 Assembly elections affidavit, had listed purchasing a property worth Rs 5 crore from Mansoor Khan. He maintained that was the only connection he had with Mansoor Khan.