Saradha scam accused Trinamool Congress leader Madan Mitra was released from Alipore prison on bail on Saturday on a bond of Rs 30 lakh.
Instead of heading home, he was lodged at a hotel at Elgin Road in the Bhawanipur police station limit. Mitra was given bail on the condition that he would not move out of his residential address, which was mistakenly given as Bhowanipur, though Mitra actually lives at Kalighat. Also, CBI is expected to challenge the bail order given by Alipore sessions judge on Friday evening. His lawyers said they would apply to change the "mistake" in the order.
The court was satisfied with the defence counsel argument that for last one year Mitra was not interrogated even once by CBI, which is investigating the Saradha case. "Then why he should be kept in judicial custody?" asked his lawyer M. Mukherjee. The court has placed many conditions on the bail granted to Mitra and also for a deposit of Rs 30 lakh.
Last year, too, Mitra had got bail from the sessions court, but the Calcutta High Court had overruled the decision. This time CBI has planned to move a prayer in the high court to reject his bail.
Coming out of the jail, Mitra said that he was alone. "I am a lonely man. I will ask my supporters not to rejoice to put in me trouble," said Mitra. This is in contrast with CBI's argument that Mitra is a "very influential person" and should be kept in judicial custody for 22 months. Mitra was keen to come out of jail just ahead of Durga puja in October, as he supervises many pujas in the city. The Saradha investigation is passing through crucial time as CBI is facing intense criticism over the slow pace of the investigation. The Rs 30,000 crore scam involving many politicians, former bureaucrats and socialites broke in 2014.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who landed in Kolkata after her Europe tour, refused to comment on Mitra’s bail.