NEW DELHI: Nalini Chidambaram, the wife of former Union minister P Chidambaram, has been summoned for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with its money laundering probe in the Rs 2,000 crore Saradha chit fund scam.
She has been asked to appear at the Enforcement Directorate’s Kolkata office in the first week of September. Her name came up in the case after scam kingpin and Saradha Group chief Sudipto Sen mentioned her in a letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) before his arrest in April 2013.
Nalini, a Supreme Court lawyer, has been asked to appear before the Investigating Officer and her statement is expected to be recorded under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Her questioning pertains to the legal fee paid to her by the Saradha group, sources said. The agency wants to understand the exact flow of funds to her from Saradha company accounts and the contract made therein. The amount in question is Rs 1.26 crore.
She was questioned by the ED and CBI in this regard earlier but sources said she has been summoned on the “light of new evidence”.
Sen, at present in jail, had mentioned about hiring Nalini as a lawyer at the request of Manoranjana Sinh, estranged wife of Congress leader Matang Sinh.
Nalini represented Manoranjana and was asked to offer her professional advice in her negotiations with Sen in connection with plans by the group to acquire a TV channel in the Northeast. The lawyer is believed to have advised her client against the Rs 42 crore investment by the group to acquire the TV channel.
The CBI, which is also investigating the Saradha scam, mentioned Nalini’s name in their chargesheet not as an accused or witness, but as someone who is privy to important information.