Kolkata: Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh, an accused in the multi-crore-rupee Saradha chit fund scam, was released from jail on Friday after being behind bars for almost three years.
The suspended Trinamool Congress MP was granted interim bail till November 11 by the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday after several of his bail appeals during the last three years were rejected.
Ghosh was visibly elated and said there could not have been a better time to get the bail.
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"I can't believe that I have been released on the day of Sasthi (first day of Durga Puja). I would be able to see my mother and also Maa Durga," he said.
The bail was granted to him 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 was arrested on November 23, 2013.
"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," counsel added.
On his release, Kunal thanked the high court, police and fellow inmates for their support during his imprisonment.
"I am indebted to a part of police department and jail guards and also to several of my inmates for their help and support during the tough times. I thank the media too for their time," Ghosh said.
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.