Former finance minister P Chidambaram's wife Nalini Chidambaram's has been granted interim protection from arrest by the Madras High Court in the Saradha chit fund case, till she obtains regular anticipatory bail from a jurisdictional court in West Bengal.
The Enforcement Directorate had registered an ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) in the matter under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Nalini Chidambaram, senior advocate, moved her application apprehending arrest a day after the CBI filed a charge sheet against her in a Kolkata court, alleging she had received Rs 1.4 crore from Saradha group of companies, which was involved in a chit fund "scam".She argued that the alleged payout was a legitimate fee from Saradha Realty Limited.
Notably, her name does not figure in the previous CBI charge sheets against proprietor of the Saradha group Sudipto Sen and his companies in connection with the alleged chit fund scam, she said.
"In total contradiction of such previous charge sheets, on January 11, the CBI filed the sixth supplementary charge sheet before a West Bengal court for offences, including conspiracy under the IPC, alleging her involvement in the scam," Nalini Chidambaram's lawyer said.
There cannot be a change in stand by the CBI in the subsequent supplementary charge sheet wherein it had made "legal fee" as "bribe money," she contended.
It is settled law that after registration of FIR and till the time of filing a charge sheet, if a person is not arrested, then a person need not to be subjected to custodial investigation.
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