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Plot thickens, former ED of CSE quizzed

Calcutta, Oct. 10: Calcutta Police today interrogated Tapas Datta, former executive director of the Calcutta Stock Exchange, who was deposed in August last year on instructions from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

Led by Swapan Dasgupta, officer in-charge of the special cell of the detective department, sleuths questioned Datta intensively. The police said they would continue with their interrogation of the former chief executive of the bourse on Friday.

Alongside Datta, the police have also asked for explanations from Sankarlal Saraf, a leading badla financier. The market regulator, in one of its reports to the Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the scam, said Saraf had made substantial profits.

Meanwhile B. V. Goud, former managing director of Stock Holding Corporation of India Ltd (SHCIL) and S. N. Paul, senior vice-president of IndusInd Bank, were produced before the chief metropolitan magistrate, S. C. Mishra, who remanded them in police custody for a week. The two men were arrested last night.

The police said Goud was arrested for links with Harish Chandra Biyani — a defaulter-member of the Calcutta Stock Exchange — who defrauded IndusInd Bank of Rs 24.4 crore by abusing SHCIL’s ‘sell-n-cash’ scheme.

Explaining Paul’s arrest, the police said he had suppressed the fact that cheques issued by the defaulters to the bourse had bounced. This had led to the payment crisis, the police argued.

Deputy commissioner of police, Soumen Mitra, said: “Not only were they (Goud and Paul) personally involved, they had also used their offices.”

IndusInd Bank said in a statement today the police action against Paul was “unjustified” and “unwarranted”. The bank had probed the matter, which proved there was no collusion between its officials and the brokers, the statement said. The bank, however, pledged full co-operation to the police in the ongoing investigation.

Brokers suspended

The Calcutta Stock Exchange suspended Sanjay Khemani — a close associate of Ketan Parekh — for a period of six months.

The exchange also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh for his involvement in unofficial badla and other related irregularities in the market.

Khemani’s offences date back to March 2001 and before. Three other brokers were also suspended.

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