Jailed West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee suffers from chronic diseases, but he does not need to be hospitalised immediately, said Ashutosh Biswas, the director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Bhubaneswar.

Chatterjee was admitted to a hospital in Kolkata on Saturday evening, hours after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the agency’s investigation into the alleged teacher recruitment scam in the state School Service Commission in 2018.

On Monday morning, he was shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences facility in Bhubaneswar after the agency alleged that he was misusing his influence to stay in a hospital, ANI reported.

On Monday afternoon, the Enforcement Directorate presented the AIIMS report on the minister to the special court, which is hearing Chatterjee’s case, ANI reported. The central agency has demanded 14-day custody of the minister.

“There is nothing wrong with medical reports,” the Enforcement Directorate said. “He was taking advantage of his position to stay in a state-run hospital. He is fit and can be taken into custody.”

On the other hand, Chatterjee’s lawyer said that the High Court had not passed any order to arrest the minister, ANI reported. “They went to his house without a summon and continued to interrogate for 30 hours,” the lawyer said. “He was detained by ED on 22nd July. Now three days of his custody has already been completed.”

At the end of the hearing on Monday evening, the court reserved its order.

On Sunday, the Enforcement Directorate approached the Calcutta High Court claiming that moving Chatterjee to a state-run hospital was not in accordance with the law.

The court then directed the agency to transfer Chatterjee to AIIMS-Bhubaneswar during a special hearing.

Justice Bibek Chaudhuri observed that the court’s experience with regard to the role of doctors attached to the SSKM hospital has not been satisfactory, Live Law reported.

“In recent past, more than one high ranking political leaders belonging to the ruling political party [Trinamool Congress] were arrested or directed to appear before the investigating authority for interrogation and they successfully avoided interrogation by the investigating agency taking shelter in the said hospital,” Justice Chaudhuri said. “They avoided even production before the court on the strength of medical report issued by the said hospital authority.”

The judge further noted that Chatterjee being a senior Cabinet minister in the West Bengal government has immense power.

“It would not be impossible for the accused with the aide of other political executives to take shelter under the garb of serious illness and medical treatment to evade interrogation,” Justice Chaudhuri added.

Chatterjee is currently the secretary general of the Trinamool Congress and holds the commerce and industries ministry.

Case against Partha Chatterjee

Chatterjee, a senior Trinamool Congress leader, was arrested on July 23 after almost 24 hours of questioning by officials of the Enforcement Directorate. He was produced before a judge in the Bankshall court in Kolkata, which sent him to two-days custody of the central agency.

The 69-year-old was the state education minister in 2018 when allegedly jobs were given to candidates in return for money instead of deserving candidates who had qualified in the recruitment process.

The Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes, also arrested Chatterjee’s aide Arpita Mukherjee, a day after the agency said it recovered about Rs 20 crore from her home. She was sent to one-day Enforcement Directorate custody on Sunday, ANI reported.

“The said amount is suspected to be proceeds of crime of the SSC scam,” the Enforcement Directorate had said. “More than 20 mobile phones have also been recovered from the premises of Arpita Mukherjee, the purpose and use of which is being ascertained.”

The Enforcement Directorate inquiry was based on a first information report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation. On June 15, the Calcutta High Court had asked the investigation agency to look into alleged irregularities in the recruitment of Group C and Group D staff, assistant teachers of Classes 9 to 12, and primary teachers.