Narada effect? Kolkata Police initiate action against Trinamool MP in fraud case
The Kolkata Police registered a suo motu FIR against Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP KD Singh and slapped non-bailable sections against him in a multi-crore cheating case late on March 16, a day before the Calcutta high court ordered a CBI probe into the Narada tapes.kolkata Updated: Mar 23, 2017 18:07 IST
The Kolkata Police registered a suo motu FIR and slapped non-bailable sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP KD Singh in a multi-crore cheating case late on March 16, a day before the Calcutta high court ordered a CBI probe into the Narada tapes.
Two more people associated with companies in Singh’s Alchemist Group – Kumarjit Singh and Pawan Verma – have also been booked.
Interestingly, Naradanews.com CEO Mathew Samuel told CBI investigators last week that he had sourced the funds required to conduct the Narada sting operation – which left the Trinamool Congress redfaced in the run-up to the 2016 Bengal assembly polls – from the Kolkata office of the Alchemist Group.
The police slapped charges under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant, banker, merchant or agent), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) against the three. One of them – section 409 – is not only non-bailable but also carries the maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The Kolkata Police’s special investigation team (SIT) will probe the matter. Efforts to contact Singh over the phone went in vain.
Bowbazar police station officers had reportedly acted on investor complaints regarding alleged embezzlement of funds to the tune of Rs 2.53 crore. Sources told HT that the SIT will soon issue summons to Singh and the other accused.
Singh (56) had become a member of the Rajya Sabha in 2010 as a nominee of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. He joined Trinamool Congress later.
Singh is no stranger to controversies. The Toubro group of companies, which had come under fire from the Left Front government in the nineties, belonged to him. In 2013, the Securities Appellate Tribunal asked one of his group companies – Alchemist Infra Realty Ltd – to give as much as Rs 1,000 crore mopped up through collective investment schemes back to investors. He was appointed as the president of the Indian Hockey Federation in the same year.
In the present case, an FIR was registered against Singh on the night of March 16. It was based on a preliminary report conducted by officers of the Bowbazar police station after as many as 70 investors claimed that they had been duped by his company.
According to police, the Alchemist Group and its subsidiaries – such as Alchemist Township and Alchemist Infra Reality – have accumulated deposits to the tune of Rs 2.53 crore. The company is accused of shutting down its regional office at Ganesh Chandra Avenue instead of returning the funds.
The Narada scam refers to a series of sting videos shot by Naradanews.com over a period of two years, which show several ministers and half a dozen MPs of the ruling Bengal government allegedly accepting bribes. A probe was taken up into the matter before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
First Published: Mar 23, 2017 18:02 IST