|Sudipta Sen’s wife Piyali and son Subhojit at the city sessions court on Friday. Pictures by Mayukh Sengupta
Calcutta, April 25: Saradha Group chairman Sudipta Sen’s wife Piyali was granted bail today but was sent to judicial custody as her legal team failed to meet one of the three conditions set by the court.
Sen’s son Subhojit was remanded in five days’ judicial custody as the Enforcement Directorate, which had arrested him and Piyali on April 16, opposed his bail prayer.
While granting bail to Piyali, the chief judge of the city sessions court, Mumtaz Khan, directed her to furnish three bail bonds of Rs 10,000 each. One of them, the judge specified, must be a local surety bond — an immovable property in Calcutta valued at least Rs 10,000 that will have to be mortgaged with the court.
“Since Piyali could not meet the condition of a local surety bond, she was automatically remanded in judicial custody. She was taken to the correctional home for women in Alipore,” said one of Piyali’s lawyers, Samir Das. “We will try to arrange for the local bond tomorrow,” he added.
Piyali, whose bail prayer was not opposed by the ED, will be released after she fulfils all three conditions.
Piyali and Subhojit were produced in the court after their eight-day custody at the office of the ED in Salt Lake ended today. The central investigating agency filed a petition seeking judicial custody for both the accused.
In his submission, Piyali’s legal counsel Das said she could not take care of her two children because she was in the ED’s custody.
“Her two children depend on her. There is no one to take care of them. My client has already spent eight days in the ED’s custody. Please grant her bail on humanitarian ground,” Das told the court.
He also petitioned for Subhojit’s bail, mentioning that he, too, had two children.
ED lawyer Abhijit Bhadra did not object to Piyali’s bail petition.
“The accused is a woman with two children. We examined her over the past eight days. The court can consider her bail petition,” Bhadra said in his submission.
However, Bhadra objected to Subhojit’s bail plea.
“The agency is probing the Saradha Group’s money trail. It was found that money had been routed through Subhojit’s bank account. When Subhojit was in custody, some documents were recovered. We object to the bail petition and appeal for his judicial custody,” Bhadra said.
In his order granting bail to Piyali, the judge said she would have to co-operate with the ED as and when required and must not tamper with any evidence related to the case.
Lawyer Das appealed that Subhojit be sent to Alipore central jail, where Sudipta is lodged. “Sudipta Sen is ill and if Subhojit is sent to the same jail, his father may get well soon,” Das said.
Judge Khan turned down the plea and sent Subhojit to Presidency jail.
The ED had arrested Piyali and Subhojit under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. In September last year, the ED had arrested and interrogated Sudipta and his deputy Debjani Mukherjee in a case under the same Act. The duo have obtained bail in the case.
Sudipta, Debjani, Piyali and Subhojit will appear before the city sessions court on April 30.