Sudipta Sen, the jailed chairman of the now defunct Saradha Group, today denied all knowledge of an item of crucial evidence, flagged yesterday by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar as "missing".
A red diary, the minister had said at a press meet in Kolkata on Monday, was mentioned "by the chit fund scamster in his testimony". Mr Javadekar also mentioned some pen drives which, he claimed, also couldn't be found.
Today, Sudipta Sen, who was brought from judicial custody for a court appearance at Barasat in the Saradha chit fund case, said he knew "nothing about any red diary".
Referring to his arrested associate Debjani Mukherjee who is also still in jail, he said, "If Debjani mentioned it, you have to ask her about it. I don't know anything about it".
Evidence in two Ponzi schemes in Bengal, that has allegedly gone missing, is at the heart of the huge political row triggered on Sunday.
Contending that he had ignored summons for questioning, officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation had tried to barge into the home of the Kolkata police chief on Sunday evening.
The agency contends that the officer -- who was in charge of the initial investigation into the two cases - was instrumental in tinkering with the evidence. Pointing out that several leaders of Mamata Banerjee's party were arrested in the cases, the BJP has alleged that the Chief Minister was trying to cover up corruption.
Today, the Supreme Court, where the CBI has appealed asked that the police chief and the agency officials meet in Shillong to discuss the issue. Mr Kumar, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, should submit all evidence and cooperate with the probe into chit fund scam.
Among Trinamool leaders questioned and arrested in the two cases are Kunal Ghosh, Madan Mitra, Srinjoy Bose, Tapas Pal and Sudip Bandhopadhyay.
Mukul Roy, once the right-hand man of Mamata Banerjee, was questioned in the Saradha case in January 2015 after he was named by Kunal Ghosh, another Trinamool MP arrested, jailed and now out on bail.
In October 2017, Mr Roy joined the BJP. He is no longer the focus of investigation.
Mr Roy told NDTV yesterday that he was innocent and was questioned in the case not as an accused but as a witness.
Sudipta Sen headed the Saradha group that had fleeced lakhs of small investors across Bengal, promising to pay astronomical returns on investments and then defaulting on payments. He was arrested along with his deputy Debjani Mukherjee and another aide from Kashmir in April 2013.
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