Trinamool Congress leader and chairman of Halisahar municipality in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, Raju Sahani was remanded to five days of CBI custody by a special court at Asansol on Saturday. He will be presented at the same CBI court on September 8.
Sahani, allegedly a beneficiary of a chit fund entity, Sanmarg Cooperative, was on Friday evening arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths from his residence at New Town on the northern outskirts of Kolkata. Cash worth Rs 80 lakh and an unlicensed pistol was also recovered from there. The CBI sleuths also traced the details of a bank account held by him in Bangkok, where huge sums were transferred in phases.
After presenting him at the Asansol court, the CBI counsel informed the court that central agency sleuths need to know further details of Sahani’s nexus with the chit fund entity and for that purpose they need him in custody for some more days for further questioning.
Moving the bail plea, Sahani’s counsel indirectly admitted that his client had some links with Sanmarg Cooperative. According to Sahani’s counsel, the money recovered from his residence was a loan taken by his client from Sanmarg Cooperative for investment in business. He also argued that since Sanmarg Cooperative was offering the loan at lower interest rates than banks, his client went for the loan.
Sahani’s counsel also argued that since his client is a chairman of an important municipality in the state, his bail application should be granted since he would not go underground.
However, the CBI’s counsel opposed that since Sahani is an influential politician in his area, if granted bail he might attempt to tamper with the evidence and also influence the witnesses.
Finally, after hearing both sides, the special court of CBI granted him a CBI custody till September 8.
While Sahani was being taken to the court from CBI custody, he claimed innocence in the matter to the waiting media persons. “You will come to know one day that I am nowhere connected with any scam,” he said.