A Special CBI court on Wednesday rejected the bail prayer of Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal arrested in connection with cross-border cattle smuggling scam and remanded him to 14 days in judicial custody.
Mr. Mondal was arrested by the CBI on August 11 and was produced in court after his 14 days of CBI custody ended on Wednesday. There were elaborate arguments in the Court during the hearing of the bail petition of the TMC leader. The lawyers appearing for the TMC leader sought bail on grounds that Mr. Mondal was not keeping well. The lawyers said that the investigating agency has not found any evidence against Mr. Mondal.
The lawyers representing the CBI opposed the bail and said that the TMC leader was an influential person and if granted bail he may try to influence witnesses in the case. The CBI’s counsel also argued that Mr. Mondal was involved in a “national crime” of cattle smuggling and that they have found large properties in the name of close relatives of Anubrata Mondal.
The CBI officers had visited the office of assistant registrar office at Bolpur on Tuesday to ascertain whether properties were registered in the name of Mr. Mondal. During the proceedings in the court, the Trinamool leader raised the issue of a threat letter to the Judge hearing the case and said that proper investigation should be carried out. On Tuesday, the Special CBI court Judge Rajesh Chakraborty received a letter which stated if Mr. Mondal was not granted bail then his family members will be implicated in a false Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Earlier in the day while being produced before a court when asked about the role of his party supremo Mamata Banerjee, Mr. Mondal responded, “ Mamata Banerjee has done enough”. Unlike former Trinamool Congress heavyweight Partha Chatterjee the party has not dumped the party’s Birbhum president and Ms. Banerjee has spoken in public in support of Mr. Mondal.
Mr. Chatterjee was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the School Service Commission (SSC) scam and was stripped off all party and ministerial responsibilities five days after the arrest. Mr. Mondal , however, remains Trinamool Birbhum district president, two weeks after his arrest.
Mr. Mondal will be lodged at a correctional home at Asansol and the court has allowed the CBI officials to question him. The investigating agency has prayed that mobile phones of the TMC be sent to Central Forensic Science Laboratory which Mr. Mondal’s lawyers have objected to. The matter will be heard on September 1.