Businessman in Mamata entourage held in fraud case

Last Updated 22 February 2015, 19:54 IST

Businessman and film producer Shibaji Panja, who was part of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's delegation that visited Bangladesh, was on Sunday arrested in Kolkata in connection with a fraud case.

Panja is wanted by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police for allegedly taking a Rs 18 crore loan from Industrial Financial Corporation of India (IFCI), a government organisation which lends short term loans to firms, after submitting fake documents.

A Kolkata court later granted bail to Panja, who was initially detained after his arrival on Saturday night. Panja was produced before the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Barrackpore, which ordered his release on a personal bond of Rs 50,000.

Panja's counsel Rajdeep Majumdar claimed before the court that an arrest cannot be made on the basis of look-out notice for crimes which entail imprisonment of seven years or less.
Panja has been accused of cheating and forgery under sections 420 (cheating), 463 (forgery) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of IPC.

Panja was detained by the immigration at the NSC Bose International Airport shortly after Banerjee, along with the entourage, returned to Kolkata on Saturday night, a senior official of the Bidhan Nagar Commissionerate said, adding he was later arrested.
The IFCI has its office

in south Delhi's Nehru Place area. According to the Delhi Police, Jeevan Kumar, senior vice-president of IFCI had registered an FIR at Kalkaji Police Station in south Delhi on July 21 last year in this connection.

The arrest of Panja gave ammunition to BJP to accuse Mamata of maintaining double standards in her relationship with corrupt and tainted persons, saying she moved around with them freely, but once they were arrested she quickly disowned them.

(Published 22 February 2015, 19:54 IST)

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