Madras High Court today reserved its orders on a petition filed by senior advocate Nalini Chidambaram, wife of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, challenging the summons issued to her by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with its money laundering probe in the Saradha chit fund scam case.
After hearing arguments by senior counsel Vijaynarayan and Krishnamurthy representing Nalini, Justice T S Sivagnanam, reserved orders and told the Additional Solicitor General C Rajagopalan, appearing for the ED, that “in the meantime let there be no precipitative action.”
In response, the ASG said that he will inform the ED.
Nalini submitted that as per section 160 of CrPC, a woman could not be summoned by police and inquiry has to be conducted in her house.
Pointing out that CBI had already filed a charge sheet in the Saradha chit fund scam probe before a court in West Bengal, the petitioner said her name did not figure in it either as an accused or witness and yet she was summoned by the ED.
The matter pertains to the legal fee allegedly paid to the petitioner by Saradha group over a television channel purchase deal.
A sum of Rs one crore was paid to Nalini for her appearances in the court and company law board by Saradha group chairman, Sudipto Sen, as part of a clause in an agreement between him and former Union Minister Matang Sinh’s wife Manoranjana, who was Nalini’s client, over a television channel purchase deal, Vijaynarayan, counsel for Nalini, told PTI.
The counsel further said her fees was declared in the tax returns and the transactions happened before the Saradha scam case.
Claiming that Nalini had fully cooperated with the ED, the counsel said his client had answered all the questions in the earlier summons, while the third and fourth summons contained similar questions and asked her to appear in person.
Hence, the petitioner approached the High Court seeking to declare the fourth summons issued by ED as illegal and to restrain its officials from initiating any action against her.