KOLKATA: They bought their properties against an advance from Sudipta Sen and paid the rest of the amount to Shyamal Sen commission. The commission arranged to get their properties registered in presence of Sudipta Sen.
Now, five months down the line, residents of 'Kalash' apartment in Saradha Garden are in a fix as questions are being raised about legal tenability of the commission's accepting money.
Around five months ago, residents of the apartment paid their dues to Shyamal Sen commission with a hope to end any possible legal impasse over buying the Saradha property. However, with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raising a question about Shyamal Sen commission's jurisdiction to do so, the move has come under scanner.
Arabinda Roy's son-in-law had bought an apartment in 'Kalash' and some amount was due to Saradha. "Our property was registered in presence of a member of the commission," said Roy. According to Debashis Dasgupta, another resident of the apartment, they saw nothing suspicious when the commission asked them to pay up. "We thought the commission was acting as a mediator, so we did not doubt anything. We got the property registered in presence of Sudipta Sen," added Dasgupta.
According to advocate Arunava Ghosh, the process oversteps the jurisdiction of the commission. "It is illegal as Shyamal Sen commission doesn't have the jurisdiction to do anything with the property," he said. Advocate Bikash Bhattacharya said: "There is no legal sanction by which the commission can accept money on behalf of Sudipta Sen...any decision related to Saradha-property and money laundering should come under the purview of the ED," he said.
But, Justice Sen said: "We had earmarked the money for compensating the duped depositors. It is part of the Rs 2.39 crore that the commission recovered from the debtors," he said. Legal experts have also raised questions about valuation of the properties. "How can you ask a party to pay the amount when there has not been any valuation done for the property?" Bhattacharya asked.
According to an ED official, "If a property was acquired before 2008, then it makes a different case. But properties acquired after that can be only be attached by us," he said. According to him, they had sent a letter to the panel last year asking it not to attach any property or change status of any property belonging to the group. Justice Sen also raised questions about the justification of ED attaching the properties.