CBI plea turned down as Madan Mitra gets bail

An Alipore Court on Friday granted bail to former state Transport minister Madan Mitra in the Saradha chit fund scam. The court delivered its verdict after hearing arguments from the counsels of Mitra and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It also directed Mitra to furnish a bail bond of Rs 30 lakh and to report to the local CBI office once a week.

The CBI may now appeal to the Calcutta High Court against the decision on September 13, after going through a copy of the order. The court has also imposed some restrictions on Mitra’s movement, and he has been ordered to deposit his passport at the local police station. It may be mentioned here that the tenth Additional District Judge Uttam Kumar Nandy had reserved his judgment on Thursday .

There was celebration among Mitra’s family members as the news of his release reached his house on Friday afternoon. His supporters and relatives welcomed the court’s verdict and celebrated Mitra’s release by bursting crackers.

Mitra’s counsels appealed to the court for his bail, saying that former minister was no longer an “influential person” as he lost the Assembly elections early this year. The CBI’s counsels. 

However, objected the bail plea, claiming that Mitra could influence the witnesses if he was allowed bail. The CBI counsels tried to establish in the court that Mitra might hamper the process of investigation if given bail.

However, the judge finally granted Mitra’s bail, rejecting the CBI’s appeal. During Thursday’s hearing in the court, Mitra’s counsels had pointed out that there was no development in the CBI investigation. The theory of Mitra being an influential person was no longer acceptable he had lost the election, they contended.

Mitra was arrested on December 12, 2014 by the CBI in connection with the Ponzi scam that revealed how the Saradha Group  had cheated investors, especially in the rural areas. Mitra remained in jail for nearly 22 months. 

Though he was granted bail around 10 months ago, it was soon rejected by the Calcutta High Court after the CBI had moved to the higher court challenging the decision. The Saradha chit fund company had surfaced during the erstwhile Left Front government.

Senior Trinamool Congress leader and state Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday said after the court’s verdict: “We all are happy to see that the court has granted Mitra’s bail. We pray to God for his good health. He was badly treated and was not allowed to campaign during the Assembly elections.”
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