The Special Crime Branch of CBI has written letter to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), seeking details about the licenses that it had issued to certain companies of the Saradha Group. This is the first time that any civic body was being questioned by the CBI as part of the chit-fund case.
The letter — dated June 4, 2015 and reportedly sent to the chief manager of KMC’s licensing department — has asked the civic body to reply within seven days. The agency has also sought details about the number of trade licenses that KMC has issued to Saradha Group companies at its Behala address — 455, Diamond Harbour Road.
Sources said the agency wanted to know the names of Saradha Group’s companies other than Saradha Realty, Saradha Housing, Saradha Garden Resorts and Hotel and Saradha Tour and Travels. It also reportedly wanted details of procedures that were followed while issuing the licenses and the money that Saradha Group had paid for the same to the license department.
Once the details are received and scrutinised by the CBI, it was likely to summon a senior KMC official, said a source.
Interestingly, Congress Councillor Prakash Upadhyay had filed a complaint with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in April 2014, alleging that KMC had issued trade licenses for Saradha Group’s 43 companies at the same Diamond Harbour Road address. All these licenses were cancelled after the arrest of Saradha chief Sudipta Sen.
KMC Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, when contacted, however, said the civic body has not received any such letter so far. “We have not got any such letter from the CBI. It is strange that any letter from the central agency, before it reaches the recipient, reaches the media and almost becomes a public document. I see a political motive behind this. I will only be able to react after I receive the letter,” he added.
“Surprisingly, photocopies of the letter were circulating in the hands of journalists. This shows the credibility of such a high-profile investigating agency of the central government,” he said.