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Saradha scam: CBI files first charge sheet

Five months after the Supreme Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the Saradha scam the central agency filed its first charge sheet on Wednesday accusing company chairman and managing director Sudipta Sen, close aide Debjani Mukherjee and suspended All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) MP Kunal Ghosh in the multi-crore swindle.

The charge sheet in which the accused have been booked under several sections of Indian Penal Code amounting to cheating, criminal conspiracy and others sections of Prize Chit and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning ) Act 1978 was filed before the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate (Kolkata).

“The charge sheet has been filed against Sudipto Sen, Debjani Mukherjee , Kunal Ghosh and 4 Saradha Group Companies and Strategy Media- a company owned by Kunal Ghosh- under sections 120 B , 409 and 420 IPC and sections 4 and 6 of Prize Chit and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning ) Act 1978,” a senior CBI official told The Hindu.

The four companies of Saradha Group which are named in the charge sheet are Saradha Tours and Travels, Saradha Reality, Saradha Garden Hotels and Resorts and Saradha Housing, the CBI official said.

The name of Saradha Tours and Travels had came up in the investigations and it was alleged that the company was favoured in getting a contract from the IRCTC for providing logistics support to the 'Bharat Tirth' project of Indian Railways when AITC chairperson Mamata Banerjee was the Railway Minister.

This is the first charge sheet submitted by the agency and CBI officials said that further investigation under Section 173 (8) of Cr.P.C is continuing for ascertaining role of other accused in the scam and other financial transactions made in connection with the scam.

All the accused named in the charge-sheet are behind bars.

While Mr. Sen and Ms.Mukherjee were arrested from Sonmarg in Jammu and Kashmir in April 2013 days after the scam into light, suspended AITC MP Mr. Ghosh, who headed Saradha’s media arm, is behind bars since November 2013 for his alleged complicity in then scam.

Another person arrested in connection with the scam is retired IPS officer Rajat Majumdar who had links with both the Saradha group and Trinamool Congress.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:30:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/saradha-scam-cbi-files-first-chargesheet/article6527216.ece

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