High Court grants interim bail to Kunal Ghosh
Suspended Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh on Wednesday was granted bail by the Calcutta High Court. Ghosh had been arrested for his alleged involvement in the Saradha Group scam more than two years ago.
The court granted him interim bail till November 11 and instructed him to submit his passport to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It also ordered him to stay under the jurisdiction of the Narkeldanga Police Station for the duration of his bail.
The Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Justice Ashim Kumar Roy and Justice Malay Marut Banerjee, had asked the CBI on Tuesday about the principles for granting bail to Ghosh, a journalist-turned-politician.
After the Wednesday’s hearing, Ghosh succeeded in getting bail after paying a bail bond of Rs two lakh. He will only be allowed to go to his home on Thursday. The court granted him bail for two reasons: that he had been imprisoned of more than two years and that his mother is ailing.
Ghosh was charge-sheeted by the CBI on October 2014, but there had been no significant development in the case number 6 – pertaining Saradha Tours and Travels Private Limited – in the last two years.
CBI is probing the Saradha scam and has made several arrests. Ghosh – who is one of the arrested accused – occupied top positions at Saradha Media and Saradha Tours and Travels, among other business interests.
The offence that Ghosh allegedly committed warrants three years of conviction and he has already spent two years, 10 months and 11 days in jail, without getting bail. During Tuesday’s hearing, the Bench expressed its astonishment at the fact that Ghosh had been confined for so long.
The Bench then instructed the CBI to inform it about the principles based on which Ghosh could be granted bail.
It may be recalled that Justice Roy had given a book to CBI lawyer R. Raghavacharyulu in the court premises while the hearing was going on in the Saradha case. The judge then instructed him to read the law book to know whether or not the offence committed by Ghosh can be identified as economic scam.
The context was raised by Raghavacharyulu, who argued that Ghosh was involved in an economic scam and thus cannot be given bail. In reply to the lawyer’s claim, Justice Roy handed him the book.
Raghavacharyulu also raised questions on Madan Mitra’s movement in the city, who is currently on bail. He said that Mitra was seen buying vegetables and roaming in the city on the pretext of celebrating Durga Puja, and should be reined in as he could influence the investigation. To this, the Bench replied that Mitra can go anywhere in Kolkata to celebrate the Puja and this will not influence the probe in any way.