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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Nussrat Jahan at ED office, grilling on for over three hours in case of alleged real estate fraud

Trinamul leader was on the board of real estate firm in question, but has denied any wrongdoing

Sougata Mukhopadhyay Calcutta Published 12.09.23, 02:19 PM
TMC MP Nusrat Jahan arrives to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in a case of alleged fraud by a real estate company, of which she was a director, in Calcutta.

TMC MP Nusrat Jahan arrives to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in a case of alleged fraud by a real estate company, of which she was a director, in Calcutta. PTI picture.

Three hours and counting. That’s the timeline of the central probe agency examination which Trinamul Congress’s actor-turned-politician Nussrat Jahan currently faces in connection with a case of real estate money swindling from unsuspecting property investors.

Responding to an Enforcement Directorate notice, Jahan reached the agency’s eastern regional headquarters at the CGO complex in Salt Lake on Tuesday, 17 minutes ahead of her scheduled time of appearance at 11 AM. She was seen carrying what seemed to be documents pertaining to the case and reportedly had to wait outside the office on the sixth floor of the building for a while before gaining entry.

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A team of three ED officers, including a female officer, are reportedly grilling Jahan on the case in which the politician has vehemently denied involvement.

Nussrat has been hogging headlines for a while now after BJP leader Shankudeb Panda filed a complaint before the ED on behalf of victims alleging she is complicit in a Rs 23 crore fraud committed by 7 Sense Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, a real estate company, which took advances of Rs 5.55 lakhs each from 429 prospective property buyers in 2014-15 promising them three-bedroom apartments in Rajarhat and then backed off without delivering on its promise and swindling the money.

Jahan was on the board of directors of the real estate firm at the time of the alleged financial crime.

It was also alleged that Jahan used portions of the swindled money to buy a property of her own in the tony neighbourhood of Palm Avenue in south Calcutta worth nearly two crores around the same time the deposits were made by members of the residential association.

In a snappy press meet on August 2, the actor claimed she had nothing to do with the alleged crime and made two claims in support of her innocence. First, she said she resigned as director of the company on March 1, 2017 and has since had no links with its policies and actions. She also stated that she holds no stakes in the company. Secondly, Jahan claimed, that she took a loan of Rs 1,16,30,285 from the company to purchase her property and that she had repaid the sum along with interest, an amount of Rs 1,40,71,995, on May 6, 2017.

Rakesh Singh, the director of the company and a co-suspect in the case, had subsequently rubbished Jahan’s claim stating no such loan was sanctioned to the actor. Singh, who was also summoned by the ED on Monday, gave the investigators a slip and has reportedly sought more time.

Sources in the agency revealed that that day’s examination would focus on the documentary evidence Nussrat furnishes before the agency in support of her claims, the repayment schedule of her property loan, and her bank documents to help identify a money trail of the possible financial fraud.

For the Trinamul Congress though, which has already distanced itself from the MP calling the developments her “personal matter which she would herself have to defend”, Jahan’s suspected involvement perceptively only adds to the party’s embarrassment caused by its list of leaders, including Partha Chatterjee, Manik Bhattacharya and Anubrata Mondal, who are currently in jail as accused in multiple cases of corruption in the state.

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