Kolkata, August 26 (IANS): Partha Chatterjee, currently in police custody in the teacher recruitment scam case, is said to have expressed anguish over the organization of her virtual presence at the upcoming hearing at the Special Court of the Directorate of Enforcement of Laws (ED) on August 31.
Instead, he told prison authorities he would be more comfortable with the traditional system of physical presence at court time.
On Aug. 23, the court approved a request from authorities at the Presidency’s Central Correctional Home, where Chatterjee is currently housed, for his virtual attendance at the upcoming Aug. 31 hearing. The court also approved the virtual presence of Chatterjee’s close aide, Arpita. Mukherjee, in accordance with a separate appeal by the authorities of Alipore Women’s Correctional Home. Both prison authorities made the calls citing security concerns.
After being informed of the new arrangement, Partha Chatterjee told his lawyer that authorities at the Presidency’s Central Correctional House had appealed for his virtual presence without notifying him. Chatterjee also rejected the security reasons given by prison authorities, the lawyers told the media.
Following this development, questions have been raised in political circles as to whether the authorities of the two reformatories deliberately used virtual presence in court in order to prevent Chatterjee and Mukherjee from interacting with the media on court premises when entering. and go out. The coincidence between the prayer times for virtual presence and recent indicative statements made by Chatterjee to the media on court days have reinforced such suspicion.
When Chatterjee was taken out of court on the day of his final hearing on August 18, he made an indicative statement that all will clear up sooner or later and no one will be spared. Shortly after, the authorities of the two reformatories pleaded the respective virtual presence in court.
Chatterjee’s angst over the issue has embarrassed the state government and Trinamool Congressional leaders, who prefer to remain silent on the matter. However, CPI-M central committee member Sujan Chakraborty said it was clear the call was made to stop him speaking to the media.
Explaining the legal possibilities in the matter, Calcutta High Court Senior Counsel Kaushik Gupta said that at the next hearing on August 31, Chatterjee will be able to inform the court that he is more comfortable with the physical presence at the hearing than virtual presence. “The court could also seek argument from the prison authorities on the matter and rule on the pros and cons, the court could allow Chatterjee’s physical presence or dismiss his plea,” Gupta said.