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Saturday , November 17 , 2012
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Arrest plea in Tagore fakes case

The anticipatory bail petition of Dipali Bhattacharya, the former principal of the Government College of Art & Craft who had held an exhibition of fake Tagore paintings last year, came up for hearing before the division bench of Justice Asim Roy and Justice Joymalya Bagchi on Friday.

Advocate Debasish Roy on behalf of the CID, which has taken up investigation of the case, submitted that custodial interrogation of Bhattacharya was necessary as it could reveal the source of the 20 paintings that had been displayed at the art college exhibition.

Bhattacharya had at the time of the exhibition said that most of the paintings had been taken from Dhanbad-based businessman Jayanta Banerjee.

The investigating team had last week gone to Banerjee’s house in Dhanbad, where his wife said that only five of the paintings were from her husband. The CID suspects the rest were from other sources and these need to be found out.

Pratap Chatterjee, advocate for Dipali Bhattacharya, submitted that a committee was formed before holding the exhibition, and so it was not her sole responsibility. She was from a good family and so there was no question of her absconding, he submitted.

Further, he wondered why Jogen Chowdhury, who had bought one of the paintings, was not being interrogated.

Kaushik Chanda, advocate for the complainants against Bhattacharya, submitted that she had so much clout that she had got the governor to inaugurate the exhibition of fake Tagore paintings. He feared that she could influence the investigation.

The bench reserved judgment.