Kolkata: A city court on Thursday rejected East Bengal Football Club official Debabrata Sarkar`s bail plea and remanded him to CBI custody till Aug 26 in connection with the multi-crore-rupee Saradha chit fund scam.
The court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Haradhan Mukhopadhyay also sent scam kingpin Sudipta Sen to CBI`s custody till Aug 26 in a fresh case related to the scam.
The duo was brought into the court amid tight security as Congress workers took out a protest rally outside the court premises alleging that the ruling Trinamool Congress was trying to cover up the scam.
Sarkar was arrested Wednesday by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which took up the reins of the probe in May following a Supreme Court directive.
The club official was arrested following multiple grilling by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate, which too is probing the scam that left lakhs of depositors financially ruined across several states, including West Bengal, Assam and Odisha.
Sen and several of his aides and suspended Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh are already behind bars for their alleged complicity in the scam.
The Saradha promoter, who in a tell-all letter to the CBI in 2013 had accused Sarkar and his cronies of extorting money from him, reiterated his allegations.
"Nitu (Sarkar) used to regularly take money from me assuring he will use his connections to cover up a probe conducted by market regulator SEBI," Sen told mediapersons while being presented before the court during the day.
"Sarkar alias Nitu who is the de-facto secretary of the East Bengal club, had assured me that he will cover up the SEBI matter through his connections if I fulfil his financial demands," Sen had said in the letter.
He also claimed that Sarkar had flaunted his powerful connections including a very high government functionary to get his company off the hook.
"In 2010, he (Sarkar) took Rs.5 crore and thereafter Rs.80 lakh or more every month. In total Nitu and several others took Rs.40 crore in the last three years," Sen said in the letter.