Court reserves decision on Sheikh Shahjahan’s ‘retraction’ petition for statements made to ED

Kolkata, April 16 (IANS) A special PMLA court here on Monday reserved its decision on the “retraction” petition filed by suspended Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan, seeking permission to withdraw his statements made before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) while in its custody.

The “retraction” petition was filed on Saturday and the matter came up for hearing on Monday.

Counsel for ED opposed the petition and challenged its authenticity. Later the special judge observed that the decision on this “retraction” petition would be taken at a later stage of the trial.

“What is the justification of such a petition at this stage? How can it be ascertained now whether the contents of the petition are authentic or not? The matter will be considered at the latter stage of the trial process,” the judge said.

On Monday, the special court also sent Shahjahan to 14 days judicial custody. Incidentally, his counsel did not move any bail petition on behalf of his client.

On Monday, the ED counsel also said that the central agency had submitted the statements made by Shahjahan to the court in written format and that in his statements, Shahjahan has admitted the kind of influence that he used to enjoy at Sandeshkhali in the North 24 Parganas district.

“He was even the sole decision-making authority to decide who would be the ruling party candidate for Assembly elections from Sandeshkhali,” the central agency counsel claimed.



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