Deposing before an inquiry commission set up by the West Bengal government Friday, scam tainted Saradha Group's chairman and managing director Sudipta Sen urged the panel his properties be disposed of to compensate doomed investors, the probe panel chief said.
"He (Sudipta Sen) said that he wanted to return money to all investors and would have done if he was given time," said Justice (retd) Shyamal Kumar Sen, adding that Sen claimed that he has enough assets to compensate all his depositors.
Justice Sen said the commission will refund the principal amount invested by about 800 investors before the Durga Puja which starts in the second week of October.
"The commission will return money to more than one lakh depositors as early as possible and is trying to verify their claims," he said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose government has set up a Rs.500 crore corpus to indemnify the duped investors, has claimed that nearly 16 lakh investors have approached the commission with their claims.
Sudipta Sen and several of his employees and key aides are currently behind bars for their involvement in the scam in which lakhs of depositors have been duped of their hard-earned money.
Justice Sen said the selection of beneficiaries will be made on two criteria - one who have invested less than Rs.1,000 and those whose sum invested matured in 2013.
"Sudipta Sen admitted that before us that his companies did not have the legal sanction to collect deposits from the markets and he misled the people to invest in the companies," he said.