A special court of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at Asansol in West Burdwan district of West Bengal, on Wednesday, remanded Trinamool Congress strongman and the party’s Birbhum district president, Anubrata Mondal to 14 days of judicial custody in connection with the multi-crore cattle smuggling case.
Justice Rajesh Chakraborty of the special court of CBI will have to present Mondal at the same court again on September 7. Justice Chakraborty also approved CBI plea to interrogate Mondal at the correctional home where he will be housed. The court ruled that the Central agency’s investigation officers in the matter will be able to question Mondal anytime between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. during his days of judicial custody.
On Wednesday, Mondal’s counsel moved a bail plea on two grounds. The first was on medical grounds and Mondal’s counsel claimed that his client needed to be treated at home. The second ground for his bail plea was that since the cross-border cattle smuggling mainly took place through the India- Bangladesh bordering district of Murshidabad, Mondal had no connection with that.
In his counter- argument, the CBI counsel said that Mondal being a politically influential person might make attempts to tamper with evidence and influence the witnesses once released on bail. The CBI counsel also pointed out that the investigative agencies have ample proof that Mondal’s bodyguard, Sehgal Hossain mainly used to collect the commission amount from the cattle smugglers on behalf of Mondal.
While placing his argument, the CBI referred to the statement given by several witnesses in the matter under Section 164 of the Code for Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973.
After hearing both sides, the court rejected the bail plea and remanded Mondal to 14- days of judicial custody. From the court he was taken to Asansol Special Correctional Home, which is barely half a kilometer away from the court premises. Incidentally, Sehgal Hossain, who is also under judicial custody was also being housed at the same correctional home. While being taken to the correctional home, Mondal was visibly devastated and refused to make any comment to the waiting mediapersons.