New Delhi, Apr 30: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday summoned former Union Minister P. Chidambaram’s wife Nalini Chidambaram in a multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam, an official said.
The agency asked Nalini Chidambaram, a senior lawyer, to appear before its Kolkata-based office on May 7 to record her statement in connection with the case.
ED’s move comes a week after the Madras High Court dismissed a petition by her, challenging the agency’s summons to her to appear as a witness in its money laundering probe in the Saradha scam case in which several key political leaders are allegedly involved.
The ED issued the summons on September 7, 2016, as Nalini Chidambaram’s name was mentioned in Saradha scam “mastermind” Sudipta Sen’s letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in April 2013.
In the letter, Sen said she prepared an agreement for co-accused Manoranjana Sinh, wife of Congress leader and former Union Minister Matang Sinh, and for legal consultancy services she received over Rs 1 crore in 18 months.
The CBI in September 2014 sought some clarifications from her. She then told the media that the CBI officers wanted to know whether Sinh consulted her professionally and confirmed that she had done so.
Based on the CBI case, the ED has been investigating the money laundering allegations against the main accused and his associates.
The agency is gathering information on the flow of funds collected by the Saradha Group companies from investors and probing the payments made through Saradha Group accounts to several companies and individuals.
While Rs 12 crore was allegedly paid to Sangbad Pratidin, Anubhuti Printers of former Congress Minister from Assam, Anjan Dutta, was allegedly paid Rs 7 crore.
Matang Sinh’s companies had also received Rs 28 crore, according to the agency. His wife’s company GNN Ltd allegedly got about Rs 26 crore.
The agency has also scrutinised the sale of Ratikanta Basu’s Broadcast Worldwide for Rs 19 crore.
Names of Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty who allegedly received Rs 2 crore and famous painter Suvaprasanna whose company Debkripa allegedly got Rs 6.5 crore also figured in the ED investigations.