HC rejects Madan Mitra's bail plea in Saradha scam case

HC rejects Madan Mitra's bail plea in Saradha scam case

 The Calcutta High Court today rejected bail plea of West Bengal Minister Madan Mitra, arrested in connection with the Saradha chitfund scam.

Senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal prayed before a division bench of Justices Nishita Mhatre and Asha Arora that Mitra, 60, be granted bail but his plea was turned down by the court.

Sibal said Mitra was ready to resign as a minister if he was granted bail.
CBI's counsel opposed the bail petition contending that the crucial factor in the case is that Mitra is the Transport Minister of the state and is, therefore, an influential person.

Sibal had argued that Section 409 of IPC (criminal breach of trust by public servant or by banker, merchant or agent) slapped against him is not applicable as he is not directly involved in the scam.

During the hearing, the court wanted to know the disease from which Mitra is suffering from as he is admitted in the state-run SSKM Hospital on health grounds.

CBI's senior counsel K Raghavacharulu said the accused is suffering from a "mysterious disease".

Sibal countered it saying a team of doctors has given a medical report stating that Mitra is suffering from heart ailments, stomach-related problems and diabetes.

Arguing the bail plea, Sibal submitted that since there is no record of any trade of money involving the Trinamool leader, he cannot be prosecuted under the Chit Fund Act.

The CBI lawyer said without the minister's patronisation, Saradha would not have been able to raise so much money from the market.

He argued that since the investigation is at an advanced stage and Mitra is an influential person he is required to be in custody.

Mitra's bail plea was not heard twice by the high court wherein the judges recused themselves from hearing the matter on personal grounds.

Bail prayers had been rejected by district courts a few times earlier.
Mitra is in judicial remand since his arrest by CBI on December 12 last for alleged complicity in the multi-crore rupee Saradha chit-fund scam.

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