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CBI gets Sen custody

Calcutta, June 16: The CBI was today granted seven days’ custody of Saradha Group chief Sudipta Sen, Debjani Mukherjee, Kunal Ghosh and three others accused in the default scam.

This is the first time the central agency, which is probing the case on a Supreme Court order, has been given custody of the Saradha chief and his associates.

“We want to confront them. This can’t happen without taking them into our custody,” CBI counsel V.K. Sharma told the Alipore court while replying to a question from Haradhan Mukhopadhayay, the additional chief judicial magistrate.

“The CBI wants to find out the larger conspiracy and the money trail. Even the role of regulatory bodies would have to be probed. The custody of the accused is extremely important,” Sharma said.

Face-to-face sessions, in which two of the accused would be made to sit across a table as the CBI questions them, would take place at the central agency’s office in Salt Lake in a day or two, sources said.

They said that the officers had already prepared a questionnaire, adding that it would be the most crucial phase of the investigation.

Ghosh used to head the media wing of Saradha, and Debjani was the executive director of the company. Among the six that the CBI today got custody of are the group’s employees Arvind Chauhan and Manoj Nagel, and Somnath Dutta, who was the vice-president of Saradha’s media operations.

“Whatever I have to say, I will tell the CBI officers now,” Sen told journalists from inside the prison van while being taken from the Alipore court to the CBI office in Salt Lake.