Kolkata: Former West Bengal Education Minister and Trinamool Congress Secretary General Partha Chatterjee on Thursday told a special CBI court that probably his accepting the chair of a minister was his only crime.
The judge accepted Chatterjee’s appeal to speak for five minutes in the court and the former heavyweight leader became quite sentimental while delivering his remarks.
“I am sure the truth will surface some time or the other. Accepting the chair of the minister was my crime. I can not claim that I was an extremely meritorious student. At the same time, I was not a bad student either. I am an alumni of Ramakrishna Mission. I had been employed in an important position in a Central government undertaking. Now I feel that being a minister was my only crime,” hee said.
At that point of time, the judge asked to carefully weigh each and every word he utters in the court. “I will have to incorporate them in my order. The words you utter might go against you as well,” the judge said.
Stating that he had been behind the bars for the last eight months, Chatterjee said that in the charge sheet there is no specific allegation against him. At this, the judge interrupted him again, saying: “Have you seen the case diary? Anyone will be shocked by what is mentioned there.”
Pointing out that the central agencies like CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) are just speaking of prima facie evidence against him, he questioned how the matter remained at a prima facie level after he had spent eight months behind the bars.
Claiming that he had no responsibility for the scam as a former minister, he claimed that he had no recruitment authority on this count. “I did not have executive authority over the board and commission. I had no recruitment authority,” he claimed.
Finally, after hearing all parties concerned, the court extended his judicial custody till March 30.