KOLKATA: The raging high-voltage drama at the special courtroom hearing of Kolkata’s multi-crore scam case, involving a suspended minister from CM Mamata Banerjee’s Cabinet Partha Chatterjee and his close aide Arpita Mukherjee became more pronounced on Friday.
The defense counsel and Enforcement Directorate (ED) lawyer continued to be at loggerheads during the hearing.
While praying for a bail application, former Trinamool Congress minister Chatterjee’s lawyer started the argument before the court. He stated, “This case came into light by the writ submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). This is the outcome of the CBI case. The CBI had asked him (Partha) for interrogation earlier and he had cooperated. Moreover, in this case, Partha Chatterjee’s name is not there in the FIR.”
He said that he had not asked for any bribe – neither in the CBI nor in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case. “Can they present any witness that Partha had asked for a bribe?” the defense counsel said. Allegations without any substance will not do at all, he pointed out.
“On July 22, when the ED raided his house, nothing was recovered; nothing has been found but it has been alleged that he is non-cooperative. If you try to ask a man who is not involved in a crime, he obviously will be non-cooperative.”
The lawyer pointed out, “Partha is a victim in the present cases and importantly, there are issues other than a legal case as he is a political person for the last 30 years. But now he is a common person and he wishes to resign as an MLA, if required.”
The lawyer emphasized that the recovery was made from Arpita. “How can it belong to Partha? Nothing was recovered from Partha’s premises.”
“Partha should be released because he is old and under constant medical care. Care is needed as per his ill health condition,” the lawyer said.
The bail plea was submitted in the last hearing too, but it was not granted by the special court.
On the contrary, ED’s lawyer said, “We demand judicial custody and allow interrogation in custody.”
“Data was recovered from their phones. Some we confront but the rest we need to. Trust of Partha Chatterjee in the name of his family has been revealed and we need to find out if it is connected with the link,” the ED lawyer stated.
Moreover, the ED stated that 50 bank accounts are under scrutiny. “This is a big development after we took him into custody… This is just the tip of the iceberg… we don’t know what is going to come out next,” the ED’s lawyer said.