KOLKATA: A G+10 residential complex in Dum Dum has come under the scanner of both the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CBI after minister Madan Mitra's alleged association with the project came to light.
The apartment complex comprises five towers, and is being developed on 100 cottahs. It will have around 1,000 "super-luxurious apartments", say sources. Considering the land where it's coming up, the developers needed permission from the ministry of defence. After Defence Estates Office (DEO) denied giving any such permission, the investigators started digging into it.
Sources said that a Salt Lake-based businessman was Mitra's aide who helped park money in real estate projects. Mitra reportedly knew this realtor for years and was seen with him on several occasions. In 2011, Saradha boss Sudipta Sen was looking for real estate projects to park his ill-gotten money. He allegedly tied up with several realtors in Kolkata and outside the state to invest in projects, including residential and hospitality units, say probe agencies.
According to sources, he got in touch with Madan Mitra and East Bengal Club official Debabrata Sarkar (now in jail custody) to look for real estate projects in and around the Rajarhat New Town. The land on which the project under question is being built belongs to the Defence Estates. In December this year, responding to an RTI, the Defence Estates Office (DEO), Kolkata circle, replied that they were not aware of the construction on the plot.
In response to the RTI that was filed in November, DEO replied that no permission was granted to develop the real estate project. Then how could the project come up on the site? ED officials say they are investigating the deal to see if Mitra had any role to play. "Sudipta has been siphoning off Saradha's money through several persons in real estate projects. We are trying to find out if he had roped in Mitra in this project," said an ED official.
When contacted, Mitra's advocate Niladri Bhattacharjee said these allegations were baseless. "Mitra never had any role to play in any such project," he said.
Responding to the RTI on December 17, 2014, the central public information officer (CPIO) of DEO, Kolkata circle, said that no permission was granted to anybody for constructing the building and selling it to public. The office has further said that the factual positions are being ascertained and an action will be initiated as early as possible.
CBI is also trying to find out whether any other accused in the scam is involved in it. According to sources, the businessman — one of the promoters of the real estate project under question — was also close to lawyer Piyali Mukherjee, who was found hanging in her New Town apartment on March 26 last year. Her death is yet to be solved. Another businessman who was close to the project's promoters was a director in painter Suvaprasanna's firm Devkripa Vyapaar before it was purchased by Sudipta, say sources in the investigating agencies.