A week after Madras High Court rejected Nalini Chidambaram’s plea to quash ED (Enforcement Directorate) summons over Saradha chit fund scam, ED has issued summoned Nalini on 7th May in money laundering probe.
Wife of former Union Minister P. Chidambaram, who was the legal advisor of Saradha accused Manoranjana Sinh, had been summoned first by the ED in 2015 but she had sent her representative to the agency’s office. 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 which he had mentioned that she prepared an agreement for co-accused Manoranjana, wife of Congress leader and former Union Minister Matang Sinh. In September 2014, the CBI sought some clarifications from her and based on the CBI case, the ED has been investigating the money laundering allegations against the main accused and his associates.
The summon in question was issued by the ED on 7 September 2016, asking Ms Chidambaram to be present at their Kolkata office. This was prompted via a statement made by a chit scam accused named Manoranjana Sinh that, Ms Chidambaram was paid Rs 1 crore by the Saradha Group for her court appearances. As per ED, the legal fee was paid via the money collected from the public in form of chits.
Later a stay order was imposed on the summons by the Madras High Court on 21 September 2016.
This might come as a bit of a blow to the Chidambaram family, whose member Karti is one of the accused in the INX Media Case, and is currently out on bail. It has been reported that Indrani Mukherjea (accused of murdering her daughter), had admitted to paying a Rs 5 crore bribe to one of Karti’s firms. This was allegedly paid with the motive to acquire “dubious and illegal” post facto FIPB clearances given to INX media by then Finance Minister P Chidambaram.