The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) summoned an executive of Chandras’ Green Projects Limited, a PC Chandra group company, on Friday to inquire about the wedding reception ceremony of the eldest son of transport minister Madan Mitra. The event took place at Chandras’ Green on Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in Kolkata on March 9 last year.
CBI officers quizzed the executive, RK Singh, on the expenditure incurred for the ceremony, including details such as rent paid for the sprawling compound, money paid to caterers, decorators and florists, and even the amount paid for the video-recording of the event. The officers also wanted to know who booked the garden and who made the payments. The officers are trying to obtain the video-recording of the ceremony to gather details of those invited. About 2,500 persons attended the reception.
Sources told HT on Friday that the officers have found that most of the bills were paid in cash.
The investigating officers suspect that money siphoned from the Saradha scam was spent for the event. The suspicion has got stronger because the expenditure incurred for the reception does not match with the minister and his family’s declared sources of income.
CBI officers suspect that Saradha group owner Sudipta Sen had given huge amounts of money to Mitra before escaping from Kolkata in April 2013 to arrange a safe custody for Sen’s second wife, Piyali Sen, and son Subhajit Sen. These officers believe that this money, or a part of it, ended up being spent for Mitra’s son’s wedding reception.
The investigating officers had gone to Alipore jail this week to interrogate Mitra about the expenditure.
After taking a statement from him, they started cross-checking it with various sources. The officers accessed the assets declarations that Mitra submitted to the Election Commission.
These declarations, made in 2009 before the Bishnupur assembly bypoll and the 2011 assembly election when Mitra contested from Kamarhati constituency, have now become the main weapons for the CBI officers to grill the minister.
The officers have also accessed the income tax returns submitted by Mitra’s sons to zero in on the wedding ceremony expenditure.
Mitra, a close aide of Trinamool Congress chief and chief minister Mamata Banerjee for decades, was arrested by the CBI in connection with the multi-crorerupee Saradha chit fund scam on December 12. At present, he is in judicial remand and is undergoing medical check-ups at SSKM Hospital at regular intervals.