Bengal school jobs case Sujay Bhadra wants counsels presence during quizzing, ED objects

Kolkata, June 6 : Sujay Krishna Bhadra alias Kalighater Kaku (uncle of Kalighat), arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the multi-crore school recruitment case in West Bengal, has sought a special court's permission for constant presence of his counsel during interrogation by the central agency sleuths. In a plea submitted on Monday, Bhadra's counsel has accused the central agency of pressuring Bhadra to admit all the charges levelled against him. A letter from Bhadra on this count has been submitted to the same court. However, while denying the charges of "undue pressure" the ED counsel claimed that constant presence of the accused's counsel is not permissible under the existing legal procedures. According to ED's counsel Phiroze Edulji, previously former state education minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general too had made a similar appeal to the court for constant presence of his counsel during the course of interrogation, which was also denied by the court. He had also pointed out that during the last six days of Bhadra's ED custody, he was permitted to meet his counsel twice. Even the central agency permitted his daughter to meet him once during the custody period, he added. Meanwhile, observers find a resemblance between Bhadra's allegation of undue pressure on him by ED to accept the charges framed against him and similar charges brought by another accused in scam and expelled Trinamool Congress leader Kuntal Ghosh accusing central agencies of putting pressure on him to name Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in the school recruitment case. Bhadra was arrested on May 31 by the ED sleuths after a marathon interrogation for over 12 hours. On June 1, a special court of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Kolkata remanded him to a 14-day ED custody. ED is currently examining the details of the transaction of the companies linked to him as well as around 50 bank accounts either held personally or by the companies linked to him. Bhadra's name had surfaced after Gopal Dalpati, a suspect in the case, named him during interrogation. Dalpati had said that Ghosh used to hand over a portion of the scam proceeds to Bhadra, whom the expelled leader used to address as 'Kalighater Kaku'. According to Dalpati, Ghosh claimed that Bhadra was his main link with the top leadership of the state's ruling party. /IANS


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