Kolkata: A lower court here on Saturday remanded West Bengal Commerce and Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee to two-day interim custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The court also directed ED to present Chatterjee at a special PMLA court at the end of his remand period.
On Saturday morning, ED sleuths arrested Chatterjee, who’s also the Secretary General of Trinamool Congress, in connection with the recruitment irregularities in West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) when he was the state Education Minister.
Chatterjee’s counsels moved a bail petition in the court and claimed that since the investigating agency did not have any concrete evidence to prove Chatterjee’s direct involvement in the scam, his bail petition be accepted.
However, the ED counsel strongly objected the bail plea and claimed that since Chatterjee as state minister can influence the witnesses, his application should be rejected.
The ED counsel also argued that since there is concrete evidence of huge financial involvement behind illegal granting of jobs in WBSSC, there are enough reasons to book Chatterjee under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
After hearing both sides, the lower court rejected the bail application and remanded Chatterjee to two-day ED custody.
ED officials said that on Monday, they will present Chatterjee at the special PMLA court and seek extension of his custody.
The lower court on Saturday also rejected a plea filed by Chatterjee’s counsels for his admission to hospital considering his health condition.
Chatterjee’s counsels said that they will move the bail application again on Monday at the special PMLA court.
“But right now, our main concern is the health condition of Chatterjee. He is totally shattered and feeling uneasy after long hours of interrogation before his arrest on Saturday morning. So, we are appealing to all concerned, including ED officials, so that proper attention is given to him,” Chatterjee’s counsels told mediapersons.
It is learnt that Chatterjee will be lodged at ED’s office in the CGO complex in Salt Lake.