Kolkata, Jan 2: Refuting CBI's claims that huge amount was transferred to his account, arrested West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra Friday told a court to hang him if it was proved that he had taken the Saradha scam money.
Mitra was presented before the court of Judicial Magistrate M.K. Roy on the expiry of his judicial custody where his counsel pressed for his bail while the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) opposed it claiming that huge amount of money was transferred to his bank account.
Seeking permission from the court to speak, Mitra also refuted the CBI's charges that he alluded people to invest in the scam-tainted Saradha Group.
"The CBI claims that huge money has been transferred to my account, but I want to say that if it is proved, that even a single penny was so transferred, then the court may hang me. I will be happy to be hanged," Mitra told the court.
Referring to a Saradha event wherein he had heaped praises on company chairman and scam kingpin Sudipta Sen for creating job opportunities for thousands, he refuted the probe agency's charges that it had allured people to invest in the company.
"I was a newly-elected MLA (legislator) and was not aware of NBFCs (non-bank financial companies) or chit funds. My boys told me that there is a company which is providing money to farmers so I attended one of their programmes," Mitra said about the programme where he had credited Sen for "making an ocean out of droplets".
"Since the company had grown from a small entity, I had made the ocean from droplets comments and also offered the company any legal help it required. But beyond that I said nothing that would have alluded people to invest in the company," he asserted.
Arrested Dec 12 by the CBI for criminal conspiracy, cheating and deriving undue financial benefits in connection with the Saradha scam, Mitra was yet again denied bail and remanded to judicial custody till Jan 16 by the court.
Mitra, a close associate of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was subsequently taken to the Alipore Correctional Home with hundreds of his party activists and followers chanting slogans and showering flower petals.