Arrested Bengal Minister Remanded to 4-Day Judicial Custody in Ration Supply Scam Case

A court in Kolkata on Sunday remanded West Bengal minister Jyoti Priya Mallick, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an alleged ration distribution scam, to judicial custody for four days.

Mallick, who currently is forest minister and held the food and supplies portfolio from 2011 to 2021, was arrested by the central agency in the early hours of October 27 from his residence in Salt Lake, on the outskirts of the city, in connection with its investigation into the alleged scam.

The minister’s lawyer said that he was remanded to judicial custody by the court till November 16.

Mallick, who underwent a medical check-up at the Command Hospital of the army, told reporters that his left side had “become paralytic” and he was being shifted from the custody of ED to judicial remand in Presidency Jail.

The minister was on November 6 remanded to ED custody till November 12.

“I am in extreme physical distress. I cannot walk properly. If there is no proper treatment and I have to live in present situations, I may die soon,” he told reporters while being taken for a check-up at Command Hospital from the ED’s office at the CGO complex.

During the hearing, Mallick’s lawyers expressed concern about the health of the minister and prayed to the court that his treatment be taken care of. The minister’s counsel did not pray for his bail.

The ED counsel handed out to the court a sealed envelope, purportedly containing the medical report of Mallick, and argued that his condition was stable.

The opposition parties alleged that the minister’s complaint of ill health was a “ploy to avoid staying in jail”.

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On the other hand, his party Trinamool Congress claimed that ED’s prolonged questioning was the reason for the minister’s deteriorating health.

The ED has claimed to have found his links with one Bakibur Rahaman, who was the main accused and arrested in the case in early October.

Rahaman was considered as the minister’s aide.

Mallick dismissed Rahman’s allegations that he gave Rs 9 crore to the minister’s family without any interest and collateral.

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