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Sen plea against ED official made FIR

Calcutta, May 24: Calcutta police have acted with alacrity to turn Sudipta Sen’s complaint petition against an Enforcement Directorate official into an FIR.

The police have drawn up charges under an IPC section that carries a maximum punishment of two years in jail.

Home department sources said the move to take cognisance of a jail inmate’s petition was a clear indication of the state government’s stand on the squabble between the police and the central agency.

The Saradha Group chief had requested the police to accept his complaint that the ED official had forced him to backdate his signatures on Union finance ministry documents at Alipore jail by threatening to frame him in cases.

“An FIR has been lodged. A case was started at Alipore police station under IPC Section 166A(b) last night,” a senior home department official said.

According to the section, “if a public servant knowingly disobeys, to the prejudice of any person, any other direction of the law… he shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but can also extend up to two years, and shall also be liable to fine”.

A senior officer at Lalbazar said that according to Sen’s complaint, he had been forced to sign on two notices against dates prior to the date of the ED official’s visit.

“Moreover, the ED official should have sought a magistrate’s permission to meet Sen as he is in judicial custody,” the Lalbazar officer said.

Sources said it was unusual for the police to take cognisance of a jail inmate’s complaint petition so promptly and turn it into an FIR within three days.

A highly placed home department source said a senior Calcutta police officer had been “called to Nabanna on Thursday, following which his subordinates consulted law books to find a section that would match the complaint lodged by Sen”.

A source said that despite the “initial dilemma” of the police “to start a case against a sister concern, a rap from the highest level put things in place”.

The ED has denied the allegations against the official and said he met Sen in the presence of Alipore jail’s chief disciplinary officer. The central agency has said it had formally sought a date from the jail authorities to serve the notice.