Kolkata: Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mandal, alias Keshto, an accused in the cattle and coal smuggling cases, on Wednesday April 6 morning, rushed to the state-run SSKM Medical College & Hospital in central Kolkata citing ill-health as the CBI sleuths readied themselves to interrogate him in the matter.
Mandal reached Kolkata from his residence at Bolpur in Birbhum district on Tuesday evening and it was perceived that he had come to honour the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s summons for questioning.
This morning, Mandal, also the party’s district president of Birbhum, left by his vehicle from his Chinar Park residence apparently for the CBI office at Nizam Palace in central Kolkata.
The CBI officers, headed by the agency’s joint director Pankaj Srivastava, reached the CBI office to interrogate him.
However, the vehicle ferrying Mandal, instead of reaching the CBI office went straight to SSKM Medical College and Hospital where he got admitted to Woodburn Ward meant for the VIPs.
It is learnt that a medical team will examine him around 12.30 p.m. Mandal’s close associates informed the media that he complained of heart and stomach problems in the morning and hence he reached the hospital for medical examination.
Till the report was filed neither Mandal nor his counsel had communicated to CBI whether he would at all appear at the CBI office during the day. The CBI officers too are maintaining a silence in the matter.
Earlier, the CBI had summoned Mandal five times for questioning in connection with the cattle and coal smuggling in West Bengal. However, each time, he ignored the summons on the pretext of ill health.
Mandal had even approached the bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha of the Calcutta High Court seeking a legal shield against the arrest by the CBI. However, on March 11, the court refused to grant Mandal any relief on grounds that the court cannot intervene in the process of investigation by any probe agency.
Later, he approached a division bench of the Calcutta High Court, which also upheld the order of the single bench. The court observed that the accused person can approach for an anticipatory bail against any arrest.