Cattle scam: Anubrata Mondal approaches Calcutta HC for bail

by IANS |

Kolkata, Nov 29 (IANS) Trinamool Congress strongman and the party's Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal on Tuesday moved the Calcutta High Court seeking bail in the multi-crore cattle-smuggling scam.

The development comes at a time when Mondal is facing a two-way attack from both Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the scam.

With successive objections by the CBI counsel, the special court of the agency at Asansol in West Burdwan district has been extending his judicial custody, including the last one on November 25.

The ED is taking all steps to take Mondal to New Delhi to question him at the agency's headquarters there. It has already moved a plea for transit remand of Mondal at Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi, which Mondal's counsel has challenged at the Delhi High Court. The hearing in the matter will be held at the Delhi High Court on December 1.

In the meantime, his counsel has moved a bail- plea at the Calcutta High Court as an interim measure. In fact, on November 25, all were surprised when Mondal's counsel Somnath Chattaraj did not move any bail plea at the special court of CBI at Asansol.

Chattaraj told mediapersons about the possibility of moving to a higher court on this count and hence they did not move the bail plea.

Political observers feel that getting bail at this juncture has become extremely crucial not just for Mondal but also for his own party in the background of the three tier- panchayat polls in the state scheduled next year.

"In the absence of Anubrata Mondal, the organisational structure of the state's ruling party has taken hit in Birbhum district, where the ruling party swept almost all the seats in three tiers of the panchayat system there in the last rural civic body polls in 2018, the entire credit for which went to Mondal. That is why Mondal has been retained as the party's district president there," pointed out a political observer.

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