ED custody of Bengal minister extended in ration supply scam case

A Kolkata court on Monday extended by seven days the Enforcement Directorate (ED) remand of West Bengal minister Jyoti Priya Mallick, arrested by the central agency in an alleged ration distribution scam case.

Mallick, who currently holds the Forest portfolio and is a former minister for food and supplies, was arrested by the ED in the early hours of October 27 from his residence at Salt Lake here in connection with its investigation into the alleged scam.

ED’s counsel prayed before the judge for an extension of Mallick’s custody by seven days, claiming that though the court had earlier on October 27 granted 10 days’ custody to the central agency, he was effectively in its remand for seven days as he was admitted to a private hospital for three days.

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM), Calcutta, (in charge), granted the ED’s prayer and sent the minister to its custody for another seven days.

Mallick, a senior Trinamool Congress leader, will be produced before the court again on November 13.

Making the prayer for an extension of his remand, the ED lawyer submitted that the agency wants to question Mallick on several more points in connection with the scam.

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

Mallick, who held the Food and Supplies portfolio from 2011 to 2021, had fallen ill in the courtroom on October 27, following which the judge had allowed his treatment at a private hospital of his choice.

The court had directed that if Mallick was required to be admitted to the hospital, the period of admission would be excluded from the period of the ED custody granted by it.

He was discharged from the hospital on the night of October 30.

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