NEW DELHI: Nalini Chidambaram, the wife of former finance minister P Chidambaram, has been summoned for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case in the 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 of the case in Kolkata where 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 know 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 but sources claimed 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 Mantang 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.
CBI, which is also investigating the Saradha scam, mentioned Nalini name in their chargesheet not as an accused or witness but as someone who is privy to important information.
Several politicians, including those of Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress, are being investigated in the Saradha scam, in which 17 lakh people were duped of their life's savings.