Tuesday December 12, 2017
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Saradha scam: Court extends judicial custody of TMC lawmaker

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Saradha scam

Kolkata: Rejecting his bail plea, a city court on Thursday extended the judicial remand of Trinamool Congress lawmaker and Saradha scam accused Madan Mitra till January 14.

Mitra was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on December 12, 2014, for his alleged complicity in the multi-crore-rupee scam. He stepped down as the state transport minister in November.

Pressing for bail, Mitra’s counsel contended that the CBI’s assertion of him being an influential person did not stand as he was no more a minister.

The counsel also pleaded for his bail on health grounds.

The CBI has been repeatedly opposing Mitra’s bail plea contending he was an influential person and granting him bail would adversely affect the investigation.

The court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Sougata Roy Chowdhury extended his judicial custody by 14 days.

Arrested and indicted by the CBI on charges of cheating, conspiracy, and criminal breach of trust, Mitra was granted bail by a lower court on October 31.

However, the relief was subsequently cancelled by the Calcutta High Court on November 19 and he has been in judicial custody since then. (IANS)

(Photo: Huffington Post)

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Supplementary chargesheet filed by CBI: Saradha scam

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Kolkata: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) accused former union minister Matang Singh’s estranged wife Manoranjana, Saradha Group chairmen Sudipta Sen and entrepreneur Shantanu Ghosh in the Saradha scam and filed a supplementary charge sheet in a city court on Monday.

In the latest charge sheet filed in the multi-crore-rupee scam, the CBI charged the trio with criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust and under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act. The name of Nalini Chidambaram was also included in the charge sheet of Saradha scam. She was named as the one who had access to certain information on the controversial channel deal. ” Being the lawyer of Manoranjana Singh, her fee had been paid from Saradha money because of which her name came up in the list,” a CBI officer said.

” Being the lawyer of Manoranjana Singh, her fee had been paid from Saradha money because of which her name came up in the list,” a CBI officer said.

Manoranjana, a former journalist, had allegedly sold her shares in an audio-visual channel to the Saradha Group.

Ghosh, the owner of now-defunct Xenitis Group, had allegedly compelled Sen to buy his automobile company with “huge liabilities” at an inflated price.(IANS)

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Ensuing assembly polls, enclave exchange, Saradha scam ruled Bengal in 2015

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Kolkata: With assembly polls ensuing in West Bengal, the political scenario in the state witnessed a lot of developments. While, after a long wait, 64 files on legendary freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose were declassified, the CBI’s probe on Sarada scam grilled some Trinamool leaders but the party continued its dominance. Furthermore, around 51,000 enclave dweller’s painful stateless existence come to a happy end with the implementation of the accord on the exchange of enclaves.

In a bid to win the elections. Trinamool supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wooed the Muslims, who comprise 27 percent of the state’s population, the CPI-M and the BJP effected a change of guard.

History was made on August 1 as India and Bangladesh implemented the 40-year-old Land Boundary Agreement by exchanging 162 adversely held enclaves, resulting in 14,000 residents of 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in Cooch Behar district becoming Indian citizens.

About 37,000 people, inhabiting 111 Indian enclaves in four Bangladeshi districts got the country’s citizenship.

In another historic step, the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service was flagged off, reducing travel time between the two Indian cities to less than half.

In September, Banerjee declassified 64 files on Netaji Bose, stressing the need to solve the mystery surrounding his disappearance. Though there was a general feeling that the files made no startling disclosures, it helped Banerjee score some political brownie points and outsmart the BJP-led central government which also promised to make public hitherto secret files on Bose.

However, the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scandal being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the Supreme Court’s instructions, continued to embarrass the Trinamool.

While former minister and party bigwig Madan Mitra, arrested last December for his complicity in the scam, continues to languish in the jail, the CBI in January grilled Banerjee’s then right-hand man Mukul Roy, sparking cries of “vendetta” and “conspiracy” from the Trinamool.

But with Roy virtually going against the Trinamool line to announce he would “fully cooperate” with the CBI, there was much speculation that the ex-railway minister would either float a new party or join some other outfit.

As Roy started skipping Trinamool meetings, Banerjee stripped him of all his posts and relegated him to the Rajya Sabha back benches. But as the year reached its last lap, there were indications of their mending fences, ahead of the poll year.

The Saradha probe has apparently not dented the Trinamool’s electoral fortunes. The party decimated the opposition in the Bongaon Lok Sabha and Krishnaganj assembly by-polls, easily retained the Kolkata Municipal Corporation board, and romped to victory in district civic body contests.

The BJP, which in 2014 seemed to be emerging as the second largest force, failed to maintain the momentum, with political circles pointing to the absence of a popular face in the state party to sway the masses.

At last in December, the BJP appointed an RSS man, Dilip Ghosh, as its state president, replacing Rahul Sinha, and embarked on a law violation campaign.

Nine months ago, Left Front spearhead CPI-M anointed the comparatively young Surjya Kanta Mishra (66) as its state secretary, in place of the 75-year-old Biman Bose and opted for new leaders in a majority of its committees from the local to the district level.

At the fag end of the year (December 27-31) the CPI-M is holding a plenum after 37 years to assess its organisational strength and decide on its future organisational and political roadmap.

However, though the top leadership is yet to spell out any clear-cut stand, sections in the CPI-M and other LF partners are seeking an electoral understanding with the Congress, arguing that the weakened LF on its own cannot combat the Trinamool.

The Congress is a house divided on the issue. While some leaders favour a tie-up with the Left, a faction wants to ally with the Trinamool – and then there are those who want the party to go it alone.

But Banerjee, apparently to nip in the bud any possibility of a Congress-LF tie-up, openly sided with the Congress when its chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi were summoned by a court on an alleged graft case related to the National Herald newspaper. The Left chose to keep a distance from the Congress on the issue.

Banerjee also announced goodies affecting a majority of the population. While the government would distribute nearly Rs 600 crore (nearly $91 million) to support 10,000 clubs, around 70 million out of the state’s 90 million population is to get rice and wheat at Rs 2 per kg.

Several famed personalities died in 2015. They included former Missionaries of Charity superior general Sister Nirmala, legendary sports administrator and Board of Control for Cricket in India president Jagmohan Dalmiya, ex-assembly speaker H A Halim, double leg amputee swimmer and English channel conqueror Masudur Rahman Baidya and writer Suchitra Bhattacharya.

In a tragic incident, 20-year-old cricketer Ankit Keshri succumbed to injuries sustained in an on-field collision in April.

Over 30 lives were lost in landslides that wrecked the Darjeeling hills, the rape of a nun in a Nadia district church by bandits caused revulsion while the discovery that a man was living with the corpses of his sister and two dogs for over six months in the heart of the city triggered shock and disbelief.(IANS)

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CBI gets 5-day custody of ex-minister’s wife Manoranjana in Saradha scam

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www.indianexpress.com

NewsGram Staff Writer

Kolkata: A city court on Thursday sent Manoranjana , the estranged wife of Congress leader Matang Sinh, to CBI custody for five day for her alleged involvement in the Saradha scam.

Manoranjana, along with Kolkata-based entrepreneur and chairman of the now-defunct Xenitis Group, Santanu Ghosh, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday for their alleged complicity in the multi-crore-rupee ponzi.

Rejecting their bail plea, the court sent the duo to CBI custody till October 13.

According to the CBI, they were “involved in a criminal conspiracy with Saradha group head and scam kingpin Sudipta Sen and misappropriated huge amounts running into crores of rupees”.

The CBI had arrested Matang Sinh in January and charge-sheeted him for several offenses including cheating and criminal conspiracy.

The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate had since 2014 been grilling Manoranjana who, along with many other high-profile names, has been accused of complicity in the scam by Sudipta Sen in his 2013 tell-all letter to the CBI.

Manoranjana, a former journalist, had allegedly sold her shares in an audio-visual channel to the Saradha Group.

She had also purportedly taken Sen to the lawyer-wife of a former union minister for settling a deal, Sen claimed in the letter.

Santanu Ghosh, said to have made several business transactions with the tainted group, was arrested in June 2014 by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

He was subsequently granted bail in August last year by a city court.

(With inputs from IANS)