The Calcutta High Court on Thursday rejected CBI’s prayer for cancellation of bail to Trinamool Congress leader Madan Mitra, an accused in the multi-crore Saradha chitfund scam. A division bench comprising justices Nishita Mhatre and Tapash Mookherjee rejected CBI’s plea for cancellation of bail granted to Mitra, a former transport minister of West Bengal, by a sessions court.
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Mitra was granted bail by Alipore Sessions Court on September 9 after he spent over 21 months in prison in connection with the scam. Seeking cancellation of bail to Mitra, the counsel submitted before the court that the former minister was an influential person and that there was possibility of his influencing eyewitnesses.
The counsel submitted that the lower court had failed to record compelling circumstances which led to granting of the bail. It was also stated that there was no change in circumstances from the time when his earlier bail prayers were refused.
Mitra’s counsels submitted that he had abided by all conditions imposed by the court and was also cooperating with the investigating agency and as such there was no reason for cancelling his bail. Mitra’s counsel had pleaded for bail contending that he was no longer an influential person since he was neither a minister nor an MLA, nor was he holding any party post now.
Alipore Sessions Court judge Uttam Kumar Nandy had granted the relief to Mitra on a bail bond and a surety of Rs 15 lakh each, rejecting the CBI’s opposition. Imposing conditions on his bail, the court had directed Mitra to appear before the CBI investigating officer once a week, surrender his passport and not to leave Bhowanipore police station limits.
The former minister has been charged under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. Mitra, who was arrested on December 12, 2014 for his alleged complicity in the Saradha scam, was earlier granted bail by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) of Alipore Sessions Court on October 31, 2015 after several of his bail pleas were rejected by different courts.
But, the breather had turned out to be a brief one as Calcutta High Court cancelled his bail on November 19 on a petition by the investigating agency.