Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Coal smuggling case: Anubrata Mandal's judicial custody extended by 14 more days

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | September 21, 2022 04:52 PM

KOLKATA: A special CBI court on Wednesday extended the judicial custody of Trinamool Congress strongman Anubrata Mondal by another 14 days in connection with the multi-crore cattle smuggling scam case in West Bengal.

Mondal, Trinamool Congress's Birbhum district president, will be presented in the same court again on October 5, which is the day of Vijaya Dashami. This means that he will have to spend the festive season of Durga Puja behind the bars.

On Wednesday, Mondal's counsel tried their best to get a bail for their client. They argued that since the prime accused in cattle smuggling Enamul Haque and the Border Security Force (BSF) commandant, Satish Kumar have been granted bail, there was no reason why bail application of Mondal will not be accepted.

His counsel also pointed out that the main charge of the CBI against Mondal was that he was responsible for ensuring the free movement of cattle from one district to the other in West Bengal. So, when those actually responsible for smuggling the cattle across the border are out on bail there was no reason for denying the bail to their client, Mondal's counsels argued. They also highlighted Mondal's deteriorating health conditions as grounds for granting bail.

In the counter argument, CBI's counsel pointed out that new evidence and new assets of both Mondal and his bodyguard Sehgal Hossain are surfacing every day. In such a situation if Mondal is granted bail at this juncture the entire investigation process might receive a setback and being an influential person, Mondal might also try to tamper with the evidence, the CBI counsel while opposing the bail plea.

Finally, after hearing both sides, the judge of the special court of CBI extended Mondal's CBI custody by another 14 days.

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