Court rejects bail plea of Saradha group boss (Roundup)

Kolkata, May 18 (IANS) Rejecting the bail plea of Saradha Group promoter Sudipta Sen and one of his close aides, a West Bengal court Saturday sent them to judicial custody till May 31. Before entering the court, Sen said he was happy over the government probe.

“I am happy, happy, happy,” said Sen, before entering the court, on a query related to the investigation being carried out by the Mamata Banerjee government into his chit fund’s alleged wrong doings.

Sen and his employee Arvind Chauhan were sent to judicial custody by Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Bidhannagar) A.H.M. Rahman in a first information report (FIR) filed by investor Kannoj Mondal who levelled allegations of cheating.

In three other cases, out of the five fresh FIRs filed against the company officials, the court remanded them to judicial custody till May 22.

The cases have been filed by investors and employees of the group alleging cheating and non-payment of salaries.

Co-accused and Saradha Group director Debjani Mukherjee could not be presented in court as she was hospitalised due to stomach ailment and vomiting.

The defence counsel pleaded for bail for Sen and his aide, claiming the cheating charges against them did “not stand”. They said police had completed interrogation and there was no need to keep the accused in jail.

The prosecution opposed their bail plea on the ground that the matter was sensitive and grant of bail may lead to the accused absconding or tampering with the evidence.

The opposition Congress and the Left Front have been demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the case.

Sen, who initially favoured a CBI probe but later changed his stand on the issue, expressed happiness over the state government’s investigation into the matter.

“I am happy, happy, happy,” said Sen, while being taken to the court.

Earlier this week, Sen approached the Calcutta High Court opposing a probe by the central probe agency, and expressed faith in the state government’s investigation.

Prior to his arrest April 23, Sen wrote to the CBI naming among others, two Trinamool MPs, who, he alleged, fleeced, coerced and blackmailed him.

Sen, Mukherjee and Chauhan were arrested from Jammu and Kashmir, days after the Group collapsed, unable to repay money to lakhs of investors.

They were taken into custody over the FIRs filed by Arpita Ghosh – an top official of a television channel run by Sen’s group.

Ghosh lodged a complaint of cheating after Sen shut down the channel.

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