AGARTALA, Oct 14 - Former PWD Minister Badal Chowdhury, who was named in an FIR in connection with procedural lapses in government work, on Monday got a breather after a court asked police not to arrest him until it passes the final order on his anticipatory bail.
There was high drama in the city since Sunday night following leakage of information about an FIR being filed against Chowdhury, former Chief Secretary Yashpal Singh and former chief engineer Sunil Bhowmik. Bhowmik was arrested on Sunday night while Yashpal Singh is in Delhi and police launched a manhunt to nab Chowdhury.
In the FIR, it has been alleged that there were procedural lapses in executing construction work of a flyover and a steel bridge, leading to loss of revenue of Rs 600 crore.
The Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport and railway stations were brought under special vigil to prevent Chowdhury from escaping as he was supposed to leave for Kolkata on Monday evening for treatment of heart ailments.
In order to avoid arrest, the former PWD Minister and CPI(M) central committee member sought anticipatory bail before the District and Sessions Court here on Monday.
Passing an interim order on the anticipatory bail petition, Justice Satyajit Dutta Purkayastha said Chowdhury, who has been named in the FIR filed by the vigilance section of state police, cannot be arrested till the court passes the final order.
Police, meanwhile, rushed to the residence of former minister and MLA Pabitra Kar to look for Chowdhury, who was projected as a fugitive.
On Monday afternoon, three DSPs, Anirban Das, Manoj Das and Dhurba Nath with a large contingent of policemen stormed into the CPI(M) state headquarters to trace and arrest Chowdhury. But they were confronted by former Power Minister Manik Dey and party leader Haripada Das who asked police to produce a search warrant before conducting any search.