After being behind bars for nearly three years, one of the main accused in the Saradha scam and suspended Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh was on Wednesday granted interim bail till November 11. A division bench of Justice Asim Kumar Ray and Justice Malay Marut Banerjee of the Calcutta High Court granted Ghosh bail against a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh.
The court, however, has laid down certain conditions. Ghosh will have to submit his passport to the CBI and he cannot leave the jurisdiction of Narkeldanga Police Station where his residence is located. This apart, he will have to appear before the CBI once a week and cooperate whenever officials from the agency want to interrogate him.
Ghosh will leave Presidency Correctional Home on Thursday after all formalities are completed.
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Ghosh had been arrested by Bidhannagar City Police on November 23, 2013, but the CBI took him in custody on November 6, 2014. Several others accused in the scam have been granted bail before and each time, Ghosh said that he too should be granted bail. In October last year, he went on a hunger strike in the correctional home. He had also attempted suicide by consuming sleeping pills.
Observing that the cases against Ghosh under IPC sections 420, 120B and 409 was being heard at a lower court, where the Chief Judicial Magistrate can sentence him to a maximum imprisonment of three years, the court said the accused cannot be kept in CBI custody for more than half the tenure of the maximum imprisonment.
Ghosh was suspended by the Trinamool Congress in September 2013, which had given him the Rajya Sabha ticket, for anti-party activities after he had started alleging the involvement of some party leaders in the scam. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 2012.
Ghosh had, during personal submissions in the metropolitan court, on many occasions alleged that some top Trinamool Congress leaders were beneficiaries of the scam and that he was being made a scapegoat.
Following his arrest, Ghosh had posted 12 names on Facebook, including those of several TMC heavyweights and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying that they could help police in the investigation into the scam.