A city court on Wednesday rejected the bail prayer of Manik Bhattacharya, a former president of the West Bengal Primary Education Board.
Bhattacharya, a Trinamul Congress MLA from Nadia, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in October 2022 in connection with money laundering related to alleged irregularities in appointments for government-aided primary schools in Bengal.
He was produced in the Special CBI-I Court on Tuesday, but the hearing could not continue as he complained of illness. On his way back to the Presidency Correctional Home, Bhattacharya’s vehicle met with an accident. The accused suffered face injuries.
On Wednesday, Bhattacharya’s bail petition was moved but he was not brought to the court.
“It was submitted in the court that the investigation has revealed direct involvement of the accused. His involvement has also emerged from the statements of the co-accused. Hence, granting bail at this juncture could seriously damage the investigation,” ED’s lawyer Abhijit Bhadra said.
After hearing both sides, the judge said: “On perusal of the materials available before me, I found it apparent that prima facie sufficient materials are collected against the accused person. His involvement in the corrupt process of illegal appointment in the various tiers of the education department is also apparent. The accused is an elected member of the Assembly and was holding a very important chair of the board of primary education.”
The judge said that considering all these facts and circumstances... he was “not inclined to allow the prayer for bail”.
Bhattacharya’s judicial custody has been extended till March 14.