Kolkata: CBI on Monday moved the Calcutta High Court praying for early hearing of its petition seeking cancellation of bail to senior Trinamool Congress leader Madan Mitra, who was in CBI custody for over 21 months for alleged complicity in the multi-crore Saradha scam.
CBI counsel K Raghava Charyulu moved a division bench comprising Chief Justice GC Gupta and Justice A Banerjee seeking early hearing of the petition for cancellation of the former West Bengal Transport minister's bail, which was granted by a sessions court on 9 September, on the grounds that the matter is urgent.
CBI claimed that Mitra was an influential person and that his remaining free on bail could influence witnesses. The chief justice directed the CBI counsel to file an application in this regard, following which he filed a written plea seeking early hearing of the petition. Earlier in the day, CBI moved the court of Justice Ashim Kumar Roy, before whose bench the matter was listed for hearing.
However, the division bench presided by Justice Roy declined to give the matter priority on the grounds that a large number of petitions were already pending before it and that it would be unfair to bypass those. CBI then moved the court of the chief justice seeking early hearing of its petition.
The Alipore Sessions Court had granted bail to Mitra on a bail bond and surety of Rs 15 lakh each, rejecting CBI's opposition. The former minister has been charged under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC.
Mitra, who was arrested on 12 December, 2014 for his alleged complicity in the Saradha scam, had earlier been granted bail by the additional chief judicial magistrate (ACJM) of Alipore Sessions Court on 31 October, 2015 after several of his bail pleas were rejected by different courts.
But the breather had turned out to be brief as the Calcutta High Court cancelled his bail on 19 November, 2015 on a petition by the investigating agency.