Kolkata, Feb 2:
Former union minister Matang Sinh, arrested by the CBI for his alleged complicity in the multi-crore-rupee Saradha chit fund scam, could not be presented in court Sunday as he was admitted to a hospital. He was later sent to judicial custody till Feb 13.
The court of acting Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate S. Chakraborty ordered Sinh — who was admitted to the state-run SSKM Hospital — to be sent to judicial custody till Feb 13 after the prosecution presented documents regarding his custody.
The former minister of state for parliamentary affairs in the P.V. Narasimha Rao-led Congress government (1991-96) was arrested Saturday on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and misappropriation of funds. He was subsequently hospitalised after he complained of illness.
The counsel for the Central Bureau of Investigation informed the court that Sinh would be presented once he was released from hospital.
“After his arrest, Matang Sinh complained he was unwell. He is now under treatment at the SSKM Hospital. We have intimated the court that he is in hospital and we will present him in court once he is released from the hospital,” the CBI counsel told the media.
The counsel also pleaded before the court that it should consider the plea for remand once Sinh was presented before it.
“We will seek either police or judicial custody for him once he is brought to the court from custody. We have also prayed before the court that it should seek a report about his health from the SSKM hospital.”
The defence counsel urged the court to grant bail to Sinh as he was a liver transplant patient and unwell due to related complications.
Saradha Group chief and purported scam kingpin Sudipta Sen, now behind bars, in a letter to the CBI, had accused Sinh of cheating him of Rs.28 crore on the promise of a 50 percent stake in a media house owned by the former Congress MP from Assam.
Sen had also accused Sinh’s wife Manoranjana of duping him of Rs.25 crore in return for some shares in a TV channel owned by her.
The CBI earlier grilled Manoranjana besides attaching Sinh’s properties and raiding his offices and residences.
The Enforcement Directorate, which too is probing the scam, had interrogated Sinh about his alleged links with Sen and the Saradha group.
Sinh’s arrest came a day after the CBI grilled Trinamool Congress general secretary and former railway minister Mukul Roy.
Probing the multi-crore-rupee scandal that came to light in April 2013, the CBI has arrested a host of influential people, including Trinamool Rajya Sabha member Srinjoy Bose, former IPS officer Rajat Majumdar, West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra and Assamese singer Sadananda Gogoi. (IANS)