A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a chargesheet against Nalini Chidambaram in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case, the Madras High Court on Saturday granted her interim protection from arrest by the investigating agency.
In a special sitting today, Justice G K Illanthiraiyan passed the interim order to hear the anticipatory bail plea of former finance minister P Chidambaram’s wife Nalini.
The judge granted her four weeks interim bail and directed her to surrender before the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Egmore. She will have to furnish sureties after which she will have to approach the court in Kolkata to obtain regular anticipatory bail, according to a report by PTI.
Nalini had moved an application apprehending arrest after the filing of CBI chargesheet in Kolkata. In court today, she contended that the alleged payout was a legal fee from Saradha Realty Limited on behalf of Manoranjana Sinh in connection with Positive TV. She also pointed out that her name had not been mentioned in previous chargesheets filed by the CBI against the proprietor of the Saradha group Sudipta Sen.
“In total contradiction of such previous chargesheets, on January 11, the CBI filed the sixth supplementary chargesheet before a West Bengal court for offences, including conspiracy under the IPC, alleging her involvement in the scam,” counsel for Nalini said.
Nalini contends that there cannot be a change in stand by CBI calling “legal fee” as “bribe money” in subsequent supplementary chargesheets.
She alleged a ‘political vendetta’ against her and her family and that the government was misusing central agencies by filing false cases.
In its chargesheet filed in a special court in Kolkata Friday, the probe agency had alleged that Nalini had received Rs 1.4 crore from Saradha group of companies. The agency alleged that Manoranjana Sinh, estranged wife of former Union minister Matang Sinh, had introduced Sen to Nalini to manage probes by various agencies like SEBI, ROC against him, and the Rs 1.4 crore was an alleged payment for the same.
The chargesheet further states that Nalini and Sen and others entered into a criminal conspiracy with an intention of cheating and misappropriating funds of the Saradha group of companies, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal was quoted as saying by PTI.
The Saradha group had raised Rs 2,500 crore by luring people with attractive interest rates which were not repaid. Sen closed operations of the company in 2013 after failing to pay returns.