The High Court of Tripura today agreed to hear former PWD Minister Badal Choudhury’s plea- (No. - WP(Crl.)10/19) in an alleged scam of over Rs 600 crore during his tenure.
A Division Bench comprising newly-sworn Chief Justice Akil Abdulhamid Kureshi and Justice Arindam Lodh said that the court will hear the plea on November 26 next.
Choudhury’s counsel P Roy Barman moved his bail plea and sought quashing of the FIR.
On October 31 last, the Court rejected the bail application of Choudhury in the case. Justice Lodh refused to grant bail to Choudhury. Allegedly, the vigilance probe indicated that the former PWD Minister violated guidelines on finalization of tenders and allotment of infrastructure development projects to PSUs and Private Companies. Moreover, the Public Works Department (PWD) lodged a theft case recently after vital documents pertaining to the tendering process went missing from its office.
Meanwhile, Choudhury, who was sentenced to Jail Custody, alleged that he had been manhandled during the course of investigation. Chowdhury has been admitted to GBP Hospital a day before yesterday with chest discomfort. He added that he was manhandled during the process of interrogation by the Investigating Officer. The CPIM leader held Police responsible for his sudden health issues.
When contacted, Investigating Officer, Ajay Kumar Das said, “CCTV cameras have been fixed in the room where Choudhury is interrogated. The jailor of Tripura central correctional home remains present during the course of interrogation. There is no scope of violating the rules. Since this is a sensitive case, all the necessary efforts are being put to brush aside any element of doubt in the case”.
Last week, the Court denied bail to former PWD Engineer-in-Chief Sunil Bhowmik and former Chief Secretary Yashpal Singh in connection with the case. Both Bhowmik and Singh were accused and also named in the FIR lodged in West Agartala Police Station in the case. While the court remanded Bhowmik to Jail Custody, Singh, who is living outside the state, has not been detained yet.