KOLKATA: The Calcutta high court Sunday asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to fly out arrested Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee to AIIMS Bhubaneswar by air ambulance early Monday, get him examined by a battery of specialists there and report back by 3pm, just in time for a special PMLA court in Kolkata to begin hearing the agency’s money-laundering case against him from 4pm.
The high court directed Chatterjee, who had been shifted to the state-run SSKM Hospital Saturday evening after he complained of illness, to appear for Monday’s hearing online. It set aside a portion of the Bankshall court’s order allowing the minister’s lawyer to be present thoughout his questioning by the ED.
Chatterjee’s alleged “close associate” Arpita Mukherjee, from whose home the ED said “money came out like from Alibaba’s iron chest”, was remanded in the agency’s custody for a day on being produced before acting chief metropolitan magistrate Namrata Singh. The nail artist-turned-model and actor had been arrested Saturday afternoon, 14 hours after Chatterjee was taken into custody at 2.10am.
While mentioning that it would be wrong to question the credibility of doctors sworn to the Hippocratic Oath, Justice Bibek Chaudhuri said, “Our experience as a common man with regard to the role of the doctors attached to SSKKM Superspeciality Hospital is not happy. In the recent past, more than one high-ranking political leader belonging to the ruling political party was arrested or directed to appear before the Investigating authority for interrogation and they successfully avoided interrogation by taking shelter in the said hospital.”