KOLKATA: The Alipore Court on Tuesday rejected West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra’s bail plea and remanded him in CBI custody till Friday in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.
His lawyers pleaded for bail citing several “loopholes in the CBI chargesheet” and the minister’s health condition, but failed to convince Judge Haradhan Mukherjee.Mitra said: “The CBI is mentally torturing me to such an extent that I will die. They are forcing me to say that the Chief Minister and many TMC leaders took money. They are threatening to shift the case to another state.
“The CBI is recording my voice. I am not being provided medical treatment. Please grant me bail. I am not going to flee,” he told the judge.
However, Central Bureau of Investigation counsel Parthasarathi Datta countered that on the basis of some digital records and taped conversations seized by the agency, Mitra’s direct link with the scam was established and the agency needed more time to interrogate him.
The Central Bureau of Investigation will send the voice records to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory to acertain if it matches conversations he reportedly had with Saradha group chairman Sudipto Sen over telephone, almost daily, before Sen was arrested in April, 2012, from Sonemarg in Kahmir Valley.
A large crowd of TMC workers had gathered outside the court and shouted slogans against the media and the BJP, while some burnt photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, following the Central Bureau of Investigation’s instruction, the Kolkata Police and Bidhannagar City Police took precautionary measures and deployed 500 police personnel to the spot of the protest.
West Bengal Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi commented on the issue: “The CBI arrest of a minister is a serious matter.
“It is a high-level investigation agency and is probing in accord to the Supreme Court order. If it doesn’t have any proof, the minister will be released. People should have faith in the judiciary.”