File Photo: West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra (PTI Photo)
Claiming that arrested West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra was enjoying undue benefits inside the jail, the CBI on Friday sought the court's intervention in ensuring the authorities strictly adhere to the jail code.
Arrested in the multi-crore rupee Saradha scam, the Trinamool Congress leader has been lodged at the Alipore Correctional Home where he is said to be using a mobile phone, home cooked food as well frequently meeting his family.
"The jail code is not strictly followed and the minister is allowed to enjoy undue benefits. The court should direct the jail authorities to ensure that the jail code is strictly adhered to," a CBI counsel told the court of Judicial Magistrate MK Roy before which Mr Mitra was presented after the expiry of his judicial custody.
"Besides being allowed to use a mobile phone, he is being provided home-cooked food regularly and frequently allowed to meet his family members. This is gross violation of the jail code, so we have sought the court's intervention," the CBI counsel said.
The court yet again denied Mr Mitra bail and extended his judicial custody till Jan 16.
Mr Mitra was arrested on December 12 for his alleged complicity in the scam including conspiring with Saradha chief and scam kingpin Sudipta Sen and deriving huge financial benefits.
People have also frowned upon Mr Mitra's earlier stay at the government run SSKM Hospital where he was admitted on December 19, the very day he was sent to judicial custody after being in the CBI remand for six days.
He was taken back to the Alipore jail on December 27 with SSKM doctors discharging him after his medical examinations revealed "nothing significant".
Suspended Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh, who too is behind bars, had compared Mr Mitra's stay at the SSKM as being in a hotel.
"I am in jail and someone is in a hotel. He is talking over mobile phone. He has been kept in a hospital, he is the president of Rogi Kalyan Samiti (Patients Welfare Committee). Someone is being treated royally," Mr Ghosh had told a court earlier.
Slamming the police for giving preferential treatment to Mr Mitra, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has threatened to seek legal recourse.
"Why is preferential treatment being meted out to Mr Mitra by the police? Why he is taken to court in a police car instead of prison van? If the police don't refrain from this preferential treatment, we will approach the court," state BJP president Rahul Sinha said on Friday.