Day after being stripped of portfolio, court rejects first-ever bail plea filed by Jyotipriya Mallick in PDS case

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Kolkata, Feb 17 (IANS) A Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Special Court in Kolkata rejected the first bail plea filed by former West Bengal Minister Jyotipriya Mallick on Saturday, just a day after he was stripped of his ministerial portfolio.

Mallick is currently in judicial custody because of his alleged involvement in the multi-crore PDS case in his capacity as the West Bengal Food & Supplies Minister from 2011 to 2021.

Mallick’s bail plea was significant on two counts. First, he moved the plea just a day after he was stripped of his ministerial portfolio on Friday and second, this was the first time that he moved a bail petition since his arrest by the sleuths of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in October last year.

Political observers say that the West Bengal Government’s action against him has convinced Mallick that he will now have to fight his own battles as the Trinamool Congress leadership has distanced itself from him.

On Saturday, while moving his plea, Mallick’s counsel pleaded that his client does not have any connection with the PDS case and hence should be granted bail.

He also argued in support of the petition citing Mallick’s poor health.

While rejecting the bail plea, the PMLA court said that the next hearing in the matter would be on February 20.

With the Lok Sabha polls around the corner, the Mamata Banerjee Government is under pressure to clean up its image as a regime mired in corruption.

The Opposition BJP is breathing down its neck and will make it a point to corner the Mamata Government on the issue of graft and the numerous scams that the Trinamool Congress leaders have been involved in.



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