Kolkata, Oct 5 (IANS) Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, an accused in the multi-crore-rupee Saradha chit fund scam, was granted interim bail on Wednesday by the Calcutta High Court.
The suspended Trinamool MP was given bail till November 11 against a bond of Rs 2 lakh by a division bench comprising Justice Ashim Kumar Ray and Justice Malay Marut Banerjee.
The bail was given on the condition that Ghosh would not move out of Narkeldanga Police Station limits during the period and appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation once a week. The court also ordered Ghosh to submit his passport to the CBI which, it said, could question him whenever it felt the need.
Ghosh, arrested on November 23, 2013, has spent nearly three years behind bars.
“According to CRPC guidelines, an accused cannot be kept in judicial custody for more than half the term of sentence normally stipulated for the crime. Kunal Ghosh has already spent two years and two months in police custody so he is eligible for bail,” Kunal’s counsel said.
“The high court has also considered the factor of his mother’s critical illness while granting him bail”, the counsel added.
Ghosh was group CEO of Saradha Media till his arrest and was paid a whopping monthly salary of Rs 15 lakh besides Rs 1.50 lakh as allowances.
In November 2014, Ghosh tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of sedatives inside the high-security Presidency Jail.
Since his arrest, Ghosh has been claiming that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as well as eight Trinamool MPs and six state ministers were direct beneficiaries of the Saradha scam.
Claiming that the CBI probe into the Saradha scam was being ‘influenced’, Ghosh in May last year wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in the matter.
The Saradha scam came to light in April 2013, after the group downed the shutters without repaying lakhs of investors who, lured by the promise of high returns. had parked their hard earned money in the group’s companies.
Within days, Saradha promoter and alleged scam kingpin Sudipta Sen and his close aide Debjani Mukherjee were arrested from Kashmir by a Special Investigation Team formed by the Chief Minister on the financial muddle.
The CBI took over the probe in May 2014, following a directive from the Supreme Court.
As part of its probe, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate rounded up several Trinamool leaders, including then state Minister Madan Mitra and Rajya Sabha MP Srinjay Bose, besides another party leader Rajat Majumdar. All of them are now out on bail.
However, former union Minister and erstwhile Congress leader Matang Sing and his estranged wife Manoranjana are still in jail.