ED has summoned Nalini Chidambaram, wife of former Finance Minister P Chidamabram, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Saradha chit fund scam case. Officials said Nalini has been asked to appear before the Investigating Officer of the case early next month in Kolkata where her statement is expected to be recorded under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The particular matter with Nalini, a Supreme Court lawyer, pertains to the legal fee paid to her by the Saradha group, official sources said.
The amount in question is Rs 1.26 crore, sources said, and the Enforcement Directorate wants to understand the exact flow of funds to her from Saradha company accounts and the contract made therein. She had earlier been questioned by the ED and CBI in this regard but sources claimed she has been summoned on the “light of new evidence.” Saradha Chairman Sudipta 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, therefore, 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. ED has filed a charge sheet in this case in a special PMLA court in Kolkata early this year and it is working to file more similar complaints in the future.