Court asks for action against jail chief for allowing ex-minister to wear rings

The special CBI court here on Wednesday asked the ADG prisons to initiate action against the superintendent of Alipore jail, whom the court found guilty of allowing former West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee to wear finger rings in judicial custody violating rules.

Refusing to accept an unconditional apology by the superintendent of the Alipore correctional home, the special CBI court judge said that it has been established that he wilfully committed a breach of a provision of the West Bengal Jail Code and connived entry into the jail of prohibited article.

“His inaction to perform his duty as per the West Bengal Jail Code is condemned by this court,” judge Suvendu Saha said in his order.

The judge directed that a copy of the order be sent to ADG and IG, correctional services, West Bengal, for initiating necessary action against the superintendent of Alipore jail Debashis Chakraborty.

Judge Saha said that since West Bengal Service Act, 1992, provides that no prosecution will lie against an officer or other employee of a correctional home without prior approval of the inspector general (IG) of the correctional home and correctional services, the copy of his order was being sent to the ‘ADG and IG’ “for initiating necessary action” against Chakraborty.

The judge had on April 19 directed the superintendent of Alipore jail to appear before his court on Wednesday to explain how the accused was allowed to wear finger rings in judicial custody.

During Chatterjee’s production before the court through the virtual mode in connection with the Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s case against him, ED’s lawyer Phiroze Edulji had pointed to the two silver finger rings worn by the former minister and submitted that it is not permissible for any prisoner to possess any jewellery under the West Bengal Jail Code.

Chatterjee was arrested by the ED in connection with the school recruitment scam on July 23, 2022.

The special CBI court had on April 19 extended the judicial remand of Chatterjee and his alleged close associate Arpita Mukherjee, who is lodged in Presidency women’s correctional home, till June 19.

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