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I paid minister in cash and cheque: Sudipta Sen I paid minister in cash and cheque: Sudipta Sen

Aug-20-2014 | 0 Comments


SURI/KOLKATA: The discomfiture for Trinamool Congress over the Saradha scam increased on Tuesday after Saradha boss Sudipta Sen told reporters that he had definitely paid textiles minister Shyama Prasad Mukherjee but couldn't recall the exact amount.

On Monday, Mukherjee had told the enforcement directorate that he had sold the Landmark Cement factory for around Rs 2.81 crore to Sen.

"Offhand, I can't say what amount we had paid to Shyama Prasad Babu," Sen told reporters outside the Suri court. "But it is sure that we had paid more than he had mentioned on Monday."

Earlier, Sen had told ED officials that he had bought the factory for Rs 10 crore. Clarifying the mismatch in the statements further, Sudipta on Tuesday said: "We paid Shyama Prasad both in cheque and cash during the deal."

Mukherjee, who had appeared before the CBI on Monday, had denied Sudipta's claim. "In fact, Sen had paid Shyama Prasad around Rs 8 lakh after bank dues were paid," Mukherjee's lawyer Jaydeb Das had said on Monday. According to Mukherjee's estimates, the Rs 2.81 crore deal included the amount Landmark Cement took as loan from a nationalized bank. According to data available with the investigating agency, Mukherjee's wife alone had been given more than Rs 8 lakh in several tranches. His brother Rameswar Mukherjee was also paid by Saradha Realty.

ED officials feel that in most deals, Sudipta used to pay smaller amounts in cheques to avoid taxes. "Most of the amounts were paid in cash. Sudipta had followed a similar pattern even in the land deals," said the official.

Meanwhile, questions have also been raised as to why Mukherjee's wife, Archana, had stayed on as a director of the company.

Meanwhile, ED officials are also looking into two different name spellings of the textile minister of the state in the documents submitted with the Registrar of Companies. While in some of the documents, his name appeared as Shayama Prasad Mukherjee, in others, his name appeared as Shyama Pd Mukherjee. The state secretariat is also looking into the fact how his name appeared as Shyama Pada Mukherjee on the oath card. "In fact, his salary was also being disbursed in the name of Shyama Pada Mukherjee," said an official at Nabanna.

Sen also said he had been paying actor-turned-politician Satabdi Roy Rs 2 lakh per month. "Satabdi Roy was our brand ambassador. So we paid her the amount for that," he said.

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