Kolkata :  West Bengal Transport and Sports Minister Madan Mitra – arrested in the multi-crore rupee Saradha scam – was on Friday yet again denied bail and sent to judicial custody till January 2 by a court here.

Arrested December 12 by the CBI for criminal conspiracy, cheating and deriving undue financial benefits, Mitra’s bail plea was rejected for the third time, as Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Haradhan Mukherjee sent him to 14 days judicial custody.

Pressing for his bail, Mitra’s counsel argued that there was no evidence against Mitra in the charge sheet submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation November 17.

“The CBI charge sheet submitted before the court has indicted nine people but there is not even a whisper is mentioned about Mitra’s complicity in the scam.

The CBI has examined so many witnesses but none of them have ever mentioned anything about Mitra’s involvement in the scam,” said defence counsel Ashok Mukherjee.

The defence also pleaded for bail on health grounds asserting that besides high blood pressure and cholesterol, Mitra was suffering from sleep apnea and was vulnerable to a heart attack.

Pleading before the court, Mitra said that he was being pressurised by the CBI sleuths to give his voice record.

The CBI had December 16 had urged the court to allow them to record Mitra’s voice sample for corroborating some digital documents that they have come across. But the court then had rejected the plea. “Yesterday (Thursday) a CBI officer forcibly wanted to record my voice. When I denied saying the court has not granted the permission, he told me that I would be going against the Supreme Court if I did not gave the voice sample,” said Mitra who has been accusing the agency of forcing him to name West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the scam.

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