The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Profit query on 7 MPs
- Chief secretary asked to send details by July 3

New Delhi, June 22: The Election Commission has sought from the Bengal government details of the offices of profit allegedly held by seven CPM MPs.

Sources said the poll panel has asked the Bengal chief secretary to furnish details such as the terms and conditions pertaining to the offices held by the MPs and the period for which they have been occupying the posts.

In a letter written to the state government last week, the commission has sought a response by July 3.

Disqualification petitions by Trinamul Congress leader Mukul Roy against 10 CPM MPs are pending with the commission.

Chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb said: 'The Election Commission has sought details like the dates on which they (the seven MPs) had joined the posts and the terms and conditions involved. We're in the process of collecting these details to report back to the commission.'

Sources said the poll panel decided to seek details directly from the Bengal chief secretary as 'sufficient information was not forthcoming' from Roy regarding seven of the accused MPs. The poll panel was duty-bound to go into petitions referred to it by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, they added.

The seven CPM MPs on whom information has been sought are Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Mohammad Salim, Hannan Mollah, Amitava Nandi, Sudhanshu Sil, Tarit Baran Topdar and Sujan Chakraborty.

Chatterjee is chairman of the Sriniketan-Santiniketan Development Authority as well as the head of the Asiatic Society, Salim is the head of the Minority Finance and Development Corporation, Mollah is chairman of the West Bengal Waqf Board, Nandi heads the West Bengal Fisheries Development Corporation, Sil is the chairman of Mallick Haat Phool Vyavsai Samity, Topdar is head of the High Power Committee on Handloom and Chakraborty is chief of the West Bengal Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

The poll panel is likely to close the office-of-profit case pertaining to CPM leader Nilotpal Basu, whose term in the Rajya Sabha has ended.

It has sought responses from party MPs Bansagopal Chowdhury and Lakshman Seth by July 7. Chowdhury is chairman of the Asansol-Durgapur Development Authority while Seth is head of the Haldia Development Authority.

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