Chit fund scam: Sudipto Sen sent to 14-day police custody

Prime accused in the Saradha chit fund scam - Sudipto Sen - was on Thursday remanded to 14 days` police custody.

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2013, 23:09 PM IST

Kolkata: Sudipta Sen, the main accused in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam, and his two other accomplices were Thursday remanded in 14-day police custody by a court here, even as police claimed that the company`s director Debjani Mukherjee played a key role in decision-making.

Sen, the group`s chairman, along with Mukherjee and Arvind Singh Chouhan, who looked after the company`s interests in Jharkhand, were produced before Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate A H M Rahman court in Bidhannagar.

The three were charged under IPC sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

The court said that Sen could have a lawyer during interrogation if he desired and also asked the Bidhannagar police commisionerate to provide details of pending cases in their jurisdiction against the trio within a week.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Bidhannagar police Arnab Ghosh said that Mukherjee was a key decision-maker.

"We have come to know that Debjani had played a role in the decision-making process of Saradha," he said.

Asked why the other Saradha directors were not arrested, Ghosh said all directors were not part of the decision-making process and cited the example of Hemant Pradhan who was actually a cook and had no idea that he had been made a director.

Outside the court, placard-waving Youth Congress and BJP workers held demonstrations demanding that Sen be punished for duping thousands of investors and action against TMC MPs whose names figured in the scam.

In a related development, the Calcutta High Court, hearing
a PIL seeking a CBI investigation into the scam and the arrest of Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, directed the West Bengal government to file an affidavit by May 2 on the steps it has taken against the Saradha Group.
It also directed the company not to make any financial transactions till further orders.

In Guwahati, thousands of investors and employees of the Saradha Group demonstrated demanding the resignation of Assam Health and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for his alleged involvement in the chit-fund company.

Sarma, on his part denied allegations of the Sharadha chairman in his letter to the CBI that he had taken money from him.

Stating that that he had met Sen about 18-19 months ago in Guwahati, Sarma said "I deny the allegation that I took Rs three crore as alleged by Sen. Which person in my office will take money or for that matter take that money by giving a receipt. I see a conspiracy here."