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Former finance minister Chidambaram’s wife named in Saradha chargesheet

Former finance minister Chidambaram’s wife named in Saradha chargesheet

KOLKATA: The CBI on Monday named Nalini Chidambaram, the wife of former finance minister P Chidambaram, in the sixth supplementary charge sheet filed in the Saradha scam on Monday.

Nalini was named neither as witness nor accused, but as one privy to certain information on the controversial channel deal. The CBI said it might look into the information she was privy to “at a later stage”.

“She was a lawyer of Manoranjana Singh, one of the accused in the Saradha case. Her name came up as her fee had been paid from Saradha money,” said a CBI officer on Monday.

Nalini’s name first cropped up in the purported letter from Saradha boss Sudipta Sen to CBI in April 2013, where it was claimed that she had been paid from Saradha accounts.

According to an SFIO report on the Saradha muddle, Nalini was the sole arbitrator of the deal signed between Sudipta and Saradha group on June 21, 2010. The report claims that she was “seemingly” paid for her professional services as lawyer.

Sources say that during questioning, Manoranjana claimed that the MoU and agreement between Saradha and GNN India were drafted by NC Associates in Chennai as Nalini was looking after her corporate affairs. The Saradha boss had earlier claimed before investigators that the deal was drafted in favour of Manoranjana.

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There have been questions about how much Nalini was paid but no CBI officer would comment on it. The case is being probed by three central investigating agencies: CBI, ED and SFIO. Banking details with the investigators reportedly reveal that Nalini was paid Rs 65.85 lakh between June 2010 and September 2012. But the TDS filed by the Saradha group shows a payment of Rs 1.5 crore to her from March-June 2011. A TDS of Rs 15 lakh was deducted from that, say sources.

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