The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday adjourned till November 5 the hearing of a CBI plea seeking cancellation of bail to state Transport Minister Madan Mitra and directed the agency to serve the notice on him again, as his counsels were not present for the hearing.
Around the same time when the CBI moved the high court seeking cancellation of his bail, Mitra was admitted to Woodlands Hospital in Kolkata after complaining of chest discomfort, pain and sweating. He was taken to the hospital in an ambulance from his residence at Bhowanipore in south Kolkata.
A press release from the hospital on Tuesday evening said Mitra had complained of discomfort on the left side of his chest, mild breathlessness, anxiety and erratic sleep.
He has been attended to by a cardiologist, a pulmonologist, a nephrologist, a urologist and a psychiatrist.
Opposition parties raised questions over the qualification of doctors at the state-run SSKM Hospital, who had declared Mitra fit for discharge on Sunday — a day after he was granted bail in the Saradha chit fund case. “The IMA and MCI should decide whether they should continue as doctors,” said CPM MP Mohammed Selim.
State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury went on to demand an answer from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on why her department (Mamata holds the health portfolio) had given a fit certificate to Mitra. “The hospital, where doctors allow dialysis on a dog, can also give fitness certificate to an unfit person. Nothing surprising about it,” said BJP MLA Shamik Bhattacharya.
Meanwhile, a division bench, comprising Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Ishan Chandra Das, while adjourning the matter, observed that as it is a prayer for cancellation of bail, Mitra should be given an opportunity to represent his case before the court.
CBI counsel K Raghava Charyulu, appearing before the court, submitted that the agency had served notice to Mitra’s counsel for hearing the matter before the high court. No lawyer representing Mitra was present in the court when the hearing commenced.
The bench directed the CBI, which is investigating the Saradha scam on an order by the Supreme Court, to again serve notice on Mitra and his counsel before the trial court that had granted bail to the minister last Saturday.
It fixed the matter for hearing on November 5.
In his short submission before the division bench adjourned the matter, the CBI counsel stated that under Section 439 of the CrPC, the court of sessions must serve notice to the public prosecutor for a bail hearing. He claimed that no such notice had been served on the CBI counsel and as such the order granting bail to Mitra was illegal.
Earlier in the morning, CBI took leave of the high court to move the prayer for cancellation of bail of Mitra after serving a copy of its 20-page petition to him.
“We have invited the notice of the honourable court and submitted the petition. The court wanted us to submit a copy of the petition to the accused in person, which we did, but the accused didn’t appear today. The court wants to give one more opportunity to the accused and adjourned it till November 5,” said Charyulu.
Mitra was granted bail by ACJM (in-charge) of Alipore District and Sessions Court Partha Pratim Das on Saturday and went home the next day after the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata declared him fit for discharge. The minister, who was arrested by the CBI on December 12, 2014, for alleged complicity in the Saradha scam, had been in SSKM since February 11 citing illness.
Mitra’s bail prayers had earlier been rejected by trial courts on a few occasions and once by the high court.
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