Having verified the nature of their past association with the Saradha group, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) decided against questioning actor Mithun Chakraborty, who is a Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member as well, and actor-director Aparna Sen in its chit-fund scam probe.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) that is conducting its separate money-laundering probe into the scam had last year examined Chakraborty and Sen.
Confirming the CBI’s decision, an agency source told HT, “Our preliminary examination found that Chakraborty and Aparna Sen did have ties with Saradha group in the past but the ties were strictly professional in nature. We understand that Chakraborty and Aparna Sen had no links at all with the group’s chit-fund activities or the related scam.”
Chakraborty had told the ED that Sudipta Sen, the key Saradha chit-fund scam accused, had allegedly paid him Rs 1.76 crore as fees for hosting a political chat show — ‘Bangla bolche songe Mithun’ — on his Channel 10 news channel.
Chakraborty said he accepted the payments via banking channels from Sen’s Saradha group firm, Bengal Media Private Limited (BMPL), in his designated role as the channel’s ‘chief adviser’ — that was limited to hosting the show.
ED had earlier also sought clarifications from Aparna Sen over her association with the group’s now-defunct magazine as an editor.
According to ED sources, both Chakraborty and Aparna Sen had denied any connection with the tainted group’s business activities including those related to alleged ponzi schemes.