The Delhi high court (HC) on Wednesday adjourned the hearing for March 17 of Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal’s plea challenging a trial court’s order denying him bail in connection with the multi-crore cattle smuggling case in West Bengal.
On December 31, Mondal had moved the HC challenging the trial court order dated January 24 denying him bail.
The special judge had passed the order finding no reason to give him bail.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana had said that Mondal’s bail application was without any merit.
The ED had arrested Mondal based on an FIR registered by the CBI in Kolkata against Satish Kumar, the then Commandant of Border Security Force.
Mondal has also recently filed a plea before the HC challenging his arrest, contending he was not provided with grounds of arrest as mandatory under Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
A special CBI court in Asansol had denied bail to Mondal.
On December 21, 2022, Mondal had moved the HC challenging issuance of production warrant by the Rouse Avenue courts in ED’s case.
On December 19, Rouse Avenue courts permitted the ED to bring him to Delhi.
Mondal’s counsel Kapil Sibal had earlier approached the Delhi HC against ED’s bid to bring Mondal to Delhi, but the HC referred the case back to the Rouse Avenue courts.
While Mondal was named in the fourth charge-sheet filed by the CBI on October 7 at the Asansol court, Mondal’s former bodyguard Sehgal Hossain, was arrested on June 10.
According to CBI’s third charge-sheet filed on August 8, he was one of the kingpins. Hossain is currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail.
CBI suspects that profits from cattle smuggling were used to buy 24 of the 168 land and property deeds executed in or after 2014.
CBI officials claim to have detected Mondal’s suspected link to these property deeds. The remaining 144 registration papers bear the names of his relatives, aides and their kin.
Mondal’s daughter Sukanya, who is suspected to be among the beneficiaries, was summoned by the ED in November 2022, to its Delhi office.
She is the director of two companies, Neer Developer Pvt Ltd and ANM Agrochem Foods Pvt Ltd, CBI’s probe revealed.
The companies have their offices at the same address where Bholebam Rice Mill, which is also owned by her, is located in Birbhum’s Bolpur town.