The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday summoned former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's wife Nalini in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. She has reportedly been asked to appear before the agency on May 7. Nalini had been summoned by the ED previously too under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The Madras High Court on April 13 had adjourned a petition filed by the ED seeking to vacate the stay on the summons issued to Nalini Chidambaram in connection with its money laundering probe in the Saradha chit fund scam case.
On September 7, 2016, the ED had issued summons to Nalini Chidambaram for receiving Rs 1 crore as fee from promoters of the Saradha Group. Challenging the summons, Nalini had approached the high court.
Nalini had submitted that as per Section 160 of the CrPC, a woman could not be summoned by police and inquiry has to be conducted in her house.
Pointing out that the CBI had already filed a charge sheet in the Saradha chit fund scam probe before a court in West Bengal, the petitioner had said her name did not figure in it either as an accused or witness and yet she was summoned by the ED.
The matter pertains to the legal fee allegedly paid to Nalini by the Saradha group over a television channel purchase deal. A sum of Rs 1 crore was paid to Nalini for her appearances in the court and company law board by Saradha group chairman, Sudipto Sen.
It was part of a clause in an agreement between Sen and former Union Minister Matang Sinh's wife Manoranjana, who was Nalini's client, over a television channel purchase deal, a senior counsel who had appeared for Nalini, had told PTI.
Nalini's counsel had further said her fees was declared in the tax returns and the transactions happened before the Saradha scam case.
The high court had on September 21, 2016 stayed the summons issued by the ED.\
(With inputs from PTI)