Saradha Group promoter sent to judicial custody till May 31

Kolkata, May 18 (IANS) Rejecting the bail plea of Saradha Group promoter Sudipta Sen and one of his close aides, a local court in West Bengal Saturday remanded them to judicial custody till May 31

Sen and a senior official of the company, Arvind Chauhan, were sent to judicial custody by Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Bidhannagar) A.H.M. Rahman in connection with an FIR filed by an investor Kannoj Mondal. The FIR had accused the deposit seeking company of the Saradha Group of cheating and other offences.

Five more cases were slapped on the duo during the day. In three cases – two of them alleging non-payment of salary to employees of the media arm of the group and another filed by an investor – Sen and Chauhan were sent to jail till May 22.

They were sent to jail till May 23 in connection with two other cases. One of the cases was filed by an investor alleging non-payment of returnable deposits, and another by the owner of a security agency for non-payment of dues.

The other accused and Saradha Group director Debjani Mukherjee could not be produced in court as she had to be hospitalised following stomach ailments and vomiting.

The defence counsels pleaded for bail for the accused arguing the cases of cheating “do not stand”. They said police have already completed interrogation, and there was no need to keep the accused in jail.

While the public prosecutor did not seek further police custody for the duo in any of the cases, he opposed the bail saying the matter was sensitive. “If granted bail, the accused may flee or tamper with evidence,” he said.

The trio of Sen, Mukherjee and Chauhan were arrested from Sonmarg in Jammu and Kashmir April 23, days after the Group collapsed, unable to repay lakhs of depositors – most of them poor people from villages and small towns – who had parked their hard earned money with its companies, lured by promise of huge returns.

They were brought to Kolkata by officers of the Bidhannagar police commissionerate, which is probing the case, and subsequently remanded to police custody on the basis of FIRs filed by Arpita Ghosh – the top official of a television channel run by the Saradha Group. Ghosh lodged a complaint of cheating last month after Sen shut the channel.

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