Calcutta, May 21: Saradha Group owner Sudipta Sen has submitted a hand-written “complaint petition” against an Enforcement Directorate official with Alipore police for “threatening” him.
Sources in the home department said Sen, who is lodged in Alipore jail, alleged in the complaint submitted through prison officials that he was forced to sign on two documents by the ED official on April 22. The police have promptly started a case based on the complaint, sources said.
Sen has alleged that he was made to sign on two “back-dated notices” served on him by the Union finance ministry. “The notices were dated March 11 and March 20, and were served on Sen when the ED official went to the jail on April 22,” an official said.
Some home department officials said the police had shown “exemplary” alacrity in registering the case, as opposed to the usual reluctance in taking cognisance of complaints lodged by those lodged in jail.
“It is obvious that not all complaints inmates register with the jail find their way to a police station. Trinamul MP Kunal Ghosh’s petitions against the police were never taken seriously. The police are not proactive in accepting such complaints as inmates are rarely given the benefit of doubt,” a home department official said.
“But in this (Sen’s) case, no time was lost. The rift between the state police and the central Enforcement Directorate is no secret,” the official added.
Alipore jail superintendent Chittaranjan Ghorai said: “Sudipta Sen has alleged that an ED official had forced him to sign on two back-dated notices. We have forwarded his petition letter to the police.”
Sen had initially made the allegation against the ED official verbally, but was asked by jail officials to give it in writing. On Tuesday afternoon, he submitted the written petition, which was sent to Alipore police station that night.
Footage from CCTV cameras installed in the jail were examined to verify the presence of the ED official on the date mentioned by the Saradha chief.
“Sen has alleged that the ED official, whose name he came to know from jail officials later, had threatened to frame him in some cases pending with the agency if he refused to sign the documents,” the home department official said.
Sources in Bengal police said that since the ED had not got court permission to either meet or examine Sen, the jail visit was “illegal”.
The ED defended the jail visit. “The name of the official who visited the jail is mentioned in the visitors’ register. There are documents bearing the official seal of prison officials and mentioning that the chief disciplinary officer of the jail was present when the ED official met Sen. There is nothing illegal about it,” a senior ED official said.
ED sources said the agency received a letter from the jail department on May 16, informing it that an “internal inquiry” had been started after it was found that an agency officer had served Sen two “back-dated” notices.