Former Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee, who along with three other TMC leaders, had been arrested by the CBI in connection with the Narada tapes case, was released from Presidency Jail on Saturday night. He returned to his Golpark home where he will remain under house arrest as directed by the High Court.
Before he was allowed to go home, he alleged that the jail authorities did not give him permission to go home despite being fit and healthy. He also alleged that he was not treated well at the SSKM Hospital.
However, the jail and hospital authorities denied the allegations. Around 6pm Sunday, Sovan hit out, saying, “No treatment is going on now. I am very much fit to be discharged. The court has ordered us to be in house arrest but the hospital and jail authorities aren’t letting me go, not even if I sign on a risk bond.”
His friend Baishakhi Banerjee also said, “We were harassed at the CBI office but he was harassed even more at the hospital. His treatment was completed on Saturday. His blood pressure and sugar levels haven’t been checked since yesterday. They weren’t even aware that he was fasting for 12 hours.”
According to jail authorities, Chatterjee, in his petition, had mentioned his residential address as Parnasree, Behala when he was staying at Golpark. Sovan urged permission to be put under house arrest at Golpark, but the jail authorities refused. “After we refused to send him back to his Golpark house, he started levelling such baseless allegations at us,” a prison officer said.
Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said Sovan was “resorting to a drama” and should be sent back to jail. “We have also seen his friend
Baishakhi Banerjee roaming the hospital premises. I demand that the hospital authorities take necessary steps to stop her from entering the ward (where Sovan is lodged),” Ghosh said.
Apart from Sovan, ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee and MLA Madan Mitra had been in judicial custody since being arrested by the CBI on Monday. While the CBI special court had granted bail to the four leaders the same day, hours later, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Arijit Banerjee of the Calcutta High Court put a stay on the bail order. With a two-judge bench differing on whether to vacate its earlier stay on the bail to four leaders, the HC ordered Friday that they be held in house arrest, while announcing a larger, five-judge bench, to hear the matter.