Breaking Down the Saradha Scandal: A Timeline of Events and Key Players Involved

The Saradha Scandal shook the nation and exposed the murky world of Ponzi schemes, money laundering, and political corruption. What started as a simple chit-fund company in West Bengal spiralled into one of India’s largest financial scams, leaving countless investors penniless and many high-profile politicians implicated. In this blog post, we will take you through a detailed timeline of events that led to the downfall of the Saradha Group and introduce you to key players involved in this scandal. Get ready for an eye-opening journey that will reveal how greed can bring down even the mightiest!

Introduction to the Saradha Scandal

In 2013, the Saradha Group, a West Bengal-based conglomerate, collapsed after running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded over 1 million people out of an estimated $3.7 billion. The scandal rocked the state of West Bengal and led to the arrest and imprisonment of several high-profile politicians and businessmen.

The Saradha Group was founded in 2006 by Sudipto Sen, a former journalist. The group quickly grew in size and influence, and soon began to invest heavily in media outlets and real estate. In 2010, the group launched a new venture: Saradha Realty, which promised investors hefty returns on their investment.

To finance this venture, the Saradha Group began to collect money from small investors through a network of agents. Agents would promise potential investors that they could double their money within 18 months if they invested with Saradha Realty.

Initially, the Saradha Group was able to make good on its promises, using money from new investors to pay old investors. However, as more and more people began investing with the group, it became increasingly difficult to keep up with the payments. In 2012, the Saradha Group began to default on its promises, and by 2013 it had completely collapsed.

The collapse of the Saradha Group led to widespread panic among its investors. Many were left penniless, while others lost their life savings.

Timeline of Events Leading Up to the Scam

The Saradha Scam was a multi-billion-dollar financial scandal that rocked India in 2013. The scam was perpetrated by Saradha Group, a West Bengal-based conglomerate that ran a Ponzi scheme through several of its companies. Over 1 million people were estimated to have been duped by Saradha, with many losing their life savings.

The scam came to light in April 2013 when Saradha Group’s Chairman and Managing Director, Sudipta Sen, was arrested from Sonmarg in Jammu and Kashmir. In his confession letter, Sen detailed how he had started the scam and how it had spiralled out of control. He also implicated several high-profile individuals, including politicians and bureaucrats, who he claimed had helped him run the scheme.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) launched investigations into the Saradha Scam soon after Sen’s arrest. Several arrests were made and charge sheets filed, but the case remains ongoing with no convictions as yet. The trial is being conducted by a special CBI court in Kolkata.

The Saradha Scam has shaken up Indian politics, with several high-profile politicians across parties being named in connection with the case. The scandal has also exposed the rot within India’s regulatory system, which allowed Saradha Group to flourish for years before it finally came undone.

Key Players Involved in the Scam

In 2013, Saradha Group, a major Indian conglomerate, ran into financial trouble and was unable to make payments to its investors. The group’s collapse led to a major scandal, with accusations of fraud and money laundering levelled against some of the key players involved.

The Saradha Group was founded by Sudipta Sen, who served as the company’s chairman and managing director. Sen was arrested in 2013 on charges of cheating and conspiracy and is currently serving a prison sentence.

Also accused in the scandal are Saradha Group executives Debjani Mukherjee and Kunal Ghosh. Mukherjee was arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy and money laundering, while Ghosh was charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating, and misappropriation of funds. Both executives have denied any wrongdoing.

The Saradha scandal has also ensnared several high-profile politicians, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her close aide Derek O’Brien. Banerjee has been accused of receiving kickbacks from the Saradha Group in exchange for political favours, while O’Brien is accused of helping the group launder money. Both Banerjee and O’Brien have denied any wrongdoing.

Impact of the Scam on Investors and Businesses

The Saradha scam was a massive Ponzi scheme that duped thousands of investors out of their life savings. The scandal had a devastating impact on the lives of those who were defrauded, as well as on businesses and the economy in the state of West Bengal, India.

The Saradha Group was founded by Sudipto Sen in 2006. The group operated a number of businesses, including a chit fund, a real estate company, and a media outlet. Saradha promised investors high returns with little risk and collected over ₹20 billion from 1.7 million investors before the scheme collapsed in 2013.

The collapse of Saradha left many people penniless and ruined. Some committed suicide, while others were forced to take out loans to make ends meet. Businesses that were associated with the group also suffered, as they lost customers and faced investigations from government authorities.

In 2016, the Supreme Court of India ordered the liquidation of Saradha’s assets and directed the West Bengal government to reimburse defrauded investors. The process has been slow, however, and many people are still waiting for justice.

Governmental Response to the Scam

The Saradha Scam was a major financial scandal that rocked the Indian state of West Bengal. The scandal came to light in 2013 when the Saradha Group, a large conglomerate with interests in media, real estate, and chit funds, collapsed. The collapse left thousands of small investors who had invested their life savings with the group out of pocket.

The Saradha Group was founded by Sudipto Sen, a former journalist. The group ran a number of schemes which promised high returns to investors. These schemes were allegedly designed to defraud investors and siphon off their money.

In April 2013, the Saradha Group collapsed owing over ₹ 20 billion to its investors. The collapse led to widespread protests across West Bengal with many people demanding that the government take action against those responsible for the scam.

The West Bengal government set up a probe panel to investigate the matter. The panel found that several politicians and bureaucrats were involved in the scam. It also found that Sudipto Sen had used investor money to fund his lavish lifestyle and fund political parties.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the investigation into the Saradha Scam in 2014. To date, no one has been convicted in connection with the scandal and investigations are still ongoing.

Current Status of Investigations

The Saradha Scandal is a major financial scandal that erupted in India in 2013. The scandal involved the collapse of a Ponzi scheme run by the Saradha Group, a West Bengal-based conglomerate. The group ran several companies that raised money from small investors promising high returns but instead used the money to pay earlier investors and fund the lavish lifestyle of its promoters.

The scandal came to light in April 2013 when the Saradha Group defaulted on payments to its investors. This led to panic among depositors and a run on the group’s companies. The Saradha Group subsequently went into liquidation, leaving thousands of small investors out of pocket.

The scandal caused widespread anger and protests in West Bengal, with many depositors taking to the streets to demand their money back. The state government set up a probe panel to investigate the matter, and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) also launched an investigation.

To date, no one has been convicted in connection with the scandal, although several high-profile arrests have been made. The CBI is still investigating the case and has so far recovered over ₹ 9 billion (US$130 million) from Saradha Group companies.


The Saradha scandal was a shocking event that had far-reaching implications in India. It is important to understand the details of this case and recognize how it exposed weaknesses in India’s financial system and regulatory environment, as well as the potential dangers of unchecked corporate power. We must use this knowledge to ensure that similar events do not occur again in the future.

Written By: Bhavneet Singh Ahuja 

Lovely Professional University

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