When a senior CBI officer was contacted on Saturday by former Union home secretary Anil Goswami to stall the arrest of former Congress MP and minister of state Matang Sinh in the Saradha chit fund scam, he was not exactly surprised.
Sinh was already under the CBI scanner for his suspicious role in influencing senior appointments in central government and central paramilitary organisations and his alleged proximity to Goswami, sources said.
This, in fact, is not the first time their closeness got noticed, said the source. Last year in July, Sinh had allegedly thrown a party at his Delhi residence to celebrate the birthday of a close female acquaintance, which was attended by several senior IAS and IPS officers, including Goswami. The agency is examining the acquaintance’s role in the events that unfolded on Saturday as well.
“On being arrested in Kolkata, Sinh was asked about the nature of his relationship with the senior bureaucrat. Sinh mentioned the names of a few top bureaucrats in this context,” said an agency source.
“Sinh was seemingly in close touch with some senior civil servants and influenced senior-level appointments. We are looking at this aspect too,” the source said.
HT was the first to report on February 1 that the agency was examining the alleged role of a senior officer in the home ministry vis-à-vis Sinh. HT could not contact Goswami about the allegations despite attempts.
Sinh was arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and misappropriation of funds in the Saradha case.
He was the minister of state for parliamentary affairs in Narasimha Rao’s regime and allegedly took Rs 28 crore for selling a television channel to Sudipta Sen.