The Calcutta High Court today declined making bail conditions of Trinamool Congress leader Madan Mitra more stringent, while adjourning hearing of CBI’s application for cancellation of bail to the former West Bengal minister till November three.
A division bench comprising Justices Nishita Mhatre and Tapas Mukherjee also rejected CBI’s plea to keep Mitra, an accused in the Saradha chitfund scam, under house arrest till disposal of its prayer for cancellation of bail to the former minister.
The bench would hear CBI’s application on November three after the Durga Puja vacation.
Meanwhile, the bench directed Mitra’s counsel to file an affidavit stating reasons as to why his bail should not be cancelled and directed him to serve a copy of the affidavit to the investigating agency.
The CBI counsel claimed the bail conditions were not stringent enough as Mitra was not a common man.
Whether he is a minister or MLA or not, his clout and influence continues, CBI counsel K Raghava Charyulu said, claiming that minutes after he was granted bail by a sessions court, the “whole state government was with him”.
He also apprehended that during the Puja vacation and celebrations Mitra would meet many people and could influence witnesses and affect investigation.
Charyulu prayed for Mitra’s confinement in his house under police and CBI surveillance, saying similar restraining orders were passed by a division bench presided over by Justice Joymalyo Bagchi on an earlier application by the investigating agency pending its plea for cancellation of bail granted to Mitra by a city court.
An Alipore court had granted the relief to Mitra on a bail bond and surety of Rs 15 lakh each.
Imposing conditions for 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 the Calcutta High Court cancelled his bail on November 19 on a petition by the investigating agency.