KOLKATA: After prolonged efforts, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sleuths finally got the approval from the Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi Rakesh Kumar on late Tuesday night to take Trinamool Congress strongman Anubrata Mondal in custody till March 10 in connection with the ongoing probe into the West Bengal's multi-crore cattle smuggling scam.
On March 10, after the Holi vacation will be over, ED sleuths will present Mondal physically before the bench of judge Rakesh Kumar and further proceedings in the matter will continue, the central agency sources said.
The late Tuesday night decision on this count unfolded after a lot of high-pitch drama, sources said. After arriving to New Delhi from Kolkata through a Vistara flight at around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, the ED sleuths first took Mondal to their national headquarter and from there took him to Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in the national capital for medical check-up.
Thereafter, the ED presented the Trinamool Congress' Birbhum district president for a virtual hearing at 11.30 p.m. on Tuesday, which was attended by Rouse Avenue Court judge Rakesh Kumar. During the course of the virtual hearing, the ED counsel sought 14-day custody for Mondal. However, the counsel for the accused objected to that and said that the first hearing in the matter cannot be done in the virtual mode and hence his client be sent to judicial custody instead of ED custody till the next date of hearing.
The judge asked all parties to reach his residence along with the accused for a late-night physical hearing in the matter. Accordingly, sources said, the ED officials along with Mondal as well as the counsels for both - the central agency and the accused - reached the residence of the judge.
The hearing started at the judge's residence at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday and there the ED counsel again pleaded for a 14-day custody for Mondal. However, after hearing all the parties, the judge remanded Mondal to ED custody till March 10 and asked the central agency to present the accused to Rouse Avenue Court on March 10.
The judge ordered that the accused will undergo medical examination daily till March 10 and his counsels will be allowed to meet him daily for 30 minutes during the interim period.
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