Millennium Post

Saradha scam: Bengal minister's judicial custody extended to Jan 16

Mitra, a close associate of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was presented before the court of Judicial Magistrate M K Roy on the expiry of his earlier judicial remand. After hearing both the prosecution and the defence, the court extended his custody.

Opposing the minister's bail plea, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) counsel claimed a huge amount was transferred to Mitra's bank account and he also encouraged investors to put money in Saradha.

Denying the allegations, Mitra said he was ready to be hanged if these charges were proved.

He also claimed he never encouraged investors, but only assured the company of legal help if it needed any.

"The CBI claims that huge money has been transferred to my account, but I want to say that if it is proved that even a single penny was so transferred, then the court may hang me. I will be happy to be hanged," Mitra told the court.

"I was a newly-elected MLA (legislator) and unaware of NBFCs (non-banking finance companies) or chit funds. My boys told me that there is a company which is providing money to farmers, so I attended one of their programme and offered them legal help if they needed any," he said.

The senior Trinamool Congress leader was arrested Dec 12 by the CBI for criminal conspiracy, cheating and deriving undue financial benefits in connection with the Saradha Group chit fund scam.

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