Saradha scam: Bengal minister’s jail custody extended again
KOLKATA, JANUARY 16
A city court Friday yet again rejected the bail plea of West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra arrested in the Saradha scam, and extended his judicial custody till Jan 30.
Mitra, a senior leader from the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress was presented in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate H. Mukherjee on the expiry of his earlier judicial remand.
Pressing for his bail, Mitra’s counsel Ashok Mukherjee said the Central Bureau of Investigation was needlessly seeking his further custody.“In the remand application, the CBI is claiming that all materials from Mitra have been collected by it. If it is so, then why are they seeking his further custody,” asked Mukherjee.
The defence also questioned why Mitra was being detained in custody when Sajjan Agarwal- one of the accused mentioned in the CBI’s charge sheet, was not arrested.
The CBI counsel in his reply said that Agarwal was cooperating with the agency in the investigation and his arrest was not required.
Subsequently, Mitra seeking the court’s permission to speak, asked the court why was he arrested when he too was cooperating with the CBI.
“The CBI says that Agarwal is cooperating so he need not be arrested. I too have been cooperating with the CBI, then why was I arrested? Does that mean that one will not cooperate if he is in custody? If it is so, then I should also be allowed to go out of custody so that I can cooperate,” argued Mitra.
Opposing the bail plea, the CBI counsel said that granting bail to Mitra would hamper the investigation and asserted that his custody was essential for the agency in its bid to unravel the larger conspiracy involved in the multi-crore rupee scam which has affected lakhs of depositors across several states.
The CBI counsel also said it would be submitting a supplementary charge sheet in the case later.
Rejecting Mitra’s bail, the court also allowed the CBI to interrogate him in the presence of a defence counsel between Jan 17 and Jan 24.
Police whisked away Mitra to the jail from the court premises even as hundreds of Trinamool supporters shouted slogans against the CBI.