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Calcutta High Court order to test Partha Chatterjee in Odisha

Minister to be accompanied by his lawyer and a doctor of SSKM Hospital

Tapas Ghosh, Debraj Mitra, Kinsuk Basu | Published 25.07.22, 06:05 AM
Partha Chatterjee at Joka ESI Hospital on Saturday.

Partha Chatterjee at Joka ESI Hospital on Saturday.

Sanat Kr Sinha

Calcutta High Court on Sunday directed the Enforcement Directorate to take former education minister Partha Chatterjee to the All India Institute for Medical Sciences in Bhubaneswar on Monday for a medical examination.

Chatterjee will be accompanied by his lawyer and a doctor of the SSKM Hospital, said an order by Justice Bibek Chaudhuri. Chatterjee was admitted at the SSKM after his arrest on Saturday.


A soft copy of the report, based on the examination by “a team of specialist doctors”, will have to be produced in an ED court in Kolkata, which will take up Chatterjee’s case at 4pm.

“The investigating agency is directed to take the accused by air ambulance to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar.... He will be accompanied by a doctor of SSKM Super speciality Hospital and an advocate for the accused,” the order said.

In 2017, Trinamul MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Paul, arrested by the CBI for alleged involvement in money laundering scam by Rose Valley, spent time in hospitals in Odisha in judicial custody.

After his arrest on Saturday, Chatterjee was taken to ESI Hospital in Joka for a medical examination before being produced in the metropolitan magistrate's court, which sent him to two days’ ED custody.

The former education minister was brought to the SSKM from the Bankshall court on Saturday night after his legal team pressed for treatment of his ailments at any of the state-run superspeciality hospitals.

The directive to take Chatterjee to SSKM was challenged in the high court.

Contending that the SSKM Hospital is consistently used as a ”safe shelter of leaders of the ruling party”, the ED counsel said Chatterjee, a “seniormost cabinet minister”, could influence the hospital into preparing a “false report”.

“The investigating agency reasonably apprehends that the accused will exert his political and administrative position and prevail over the doctors to submit a false medical report as to his health condition and safely stay in the said hospital during the period of first 15 days within which he may be remanded in the custody of the investigating agency,” said the order.

The ED counsel also argued that Chatterjee was fit at the time of his arrest.

Furnishing a copy of a health report, issued by the ESI Hospital in Joka, the ED counsel said Chatterjee's health parameters were normal. Chatterjee moved an application to be taken to the SSKM hospital only after his bail plea was rejected, the ED counsel said.

The agency wanted to take Chatterjee to the AIIMS in Kalyani or in Delhi. Justice Chaudhuri expressed his reservations about the AIIMS in Kalyani, citing alleged irregularities in the recruitment of staff at the central institute.

Chatterjee’s lawyer alleged that the health report submitted by the ED on Sunday did not tally with the report from the ESI Hospital in Joka.

Doctors attending to the former education minister at the SSKM said he was diabetic, had kidney and cardiac ailments.

On Sunday, several hours after his hospitalisation, they said the minister, who is admitted in a cabin of the cardiology department, had largely recovered from the state of breathlessness and irregular heartbeat that he was suffering from on Saturday night.

“We have conducted an electrocardiography and an echocardiography along with a few tests of his blood,” said a senior doctor. “There is a need for medical supervision. Whatever medical intervention is required at this stage is being offered.”

 After an initial assessment of Chatterjee’s co-morbidities, the hospital authorities on Sunday set up a six-board medical board headed by a cardiologist to monitor his health.

Last updated on 25.07.22, 06:33 AM

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