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Bengal minister Partha in 10-day ED custody; to return to Kolkata on Tuesday

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
July 26, 2022 01:29 IST
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Arrested West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee will spend Monday night at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, where he was taken for a thorough check-up, even as a Kolkata court granted 10 days' Enforcement Directorate custody of the senior Trinamool Congress leader and his alleged associate Arpita Mukherjee for probe into the school jobs scam.

IMAGE: West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee in a wheelchair while being shifted to AIIMS Bhubaneswar from SSKM hospital as per order of Calcutta high court, in Kolkata, July 25, 2022. Photograph: ANI Photo

ED sources said that due to unavoidable reasons, Chatterjee will spend the night at the hospital and return to Kolkata on Tuesday morning.

Doctors at the medical establishment, after a check-up, said he was suffering from chronic diseases but does not need immediate hospitalisation.

 

Citing the hospital report, ED prayed for 14 days' custody of Chatterjee as his two-day custody granted by another court ended during the day.

Rejecting a bail prayer of the minister, special ED court judge Jibon Kumar Sadhu at Bankshall court here granted ED custody of the minister and also of Mukherjee till August 3.

The court directed in its order that the two accused persons, who were arrested on July 22, be produced before it again on August 3.

As per the Calcutta high court's order, Chatterjee, who was arrested on Saturday in connection with the scam, was flown to AIIMS Bhubaneswar by an air ambulance after he complained of health issues.

"We have conducted a thorough screening (of Chatterjee), including blood, kidney, thyroid and cardiological investigations. He has some chronic diseases, but does not need immediate hospitalisation," AIIMS executive director Ashutosh Biswas told reporters.

A report has been submitted to the high court with details of Chatterjee's health status, Biswas said.

"The symptoms with which he came to the hospital are not very serious in nature. There wasn't much chest pain as such. The TMC leader had been taking medications for a long time and AIIMS advised some modifications to that, taking into account his symptoms."

"The next course of action will be taken as per court directives," he stated, adding that Chatterjee would be discharged soon.

The senior TMC leader held the education portfolio when the alleged appointment scam took place in which teaching jobs in state government-sponsored and aided schools were offered in lieu of money.

The court had asked the CBI to probe the irregularities. The ED is looking into the money trail involved in the scam.

Earlier in the day, Chatterjee was taken to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport via a green corridor to board the air ambulance.

An ED official said two counsels representing Chatterjee went to the Odisha capital with him.

After landing in Bhubaneswar, Chatterjee was moved to the AIIMS, where a thorough health check-up was carried out, following which he was shifted to a special cabin.

ED prayed for 14 days' custody of Chatterjee claiming that he has been in state-run SSKM Hospital allegedly faking illness and thus the agency could not question him during the two-day remand granted by the CMM in-charge court on Saturday.

The agency also prayed for Mukherjee's custody for 13 days.

The judge directed that medical examination be conducted of both the accused every 48 hours of their detention in ED custody.

The court directed the investigating officer not to inflict torture upon the accused persons.

The investigating officer was directed not to subject Mukherjee to custodial interrogation between 9 pm and 6 pm.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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