Kolkata: A day after he was granted bail in a Saradha scam related case, Trinamool Congress leader and former West Bengal minister Madan Mitra was on Saturday released from jail but couldn’t return to his home as per conditions imposed by the court.
He was instead lodged in a hotel within the jurisdiction of the Bhowanipore police station in south Kolkata.
Mira, who spent over 21 months in prison, was released from the Alipore Correctional Home (as prisons in the state are called) at around 7 a.m. and taken to the hotel, and not to his residence which comes under the jurisdiction of the Kaligha police station.
“Now, I’ll take complete rest. It is rest, rest and rest for me. I am very happy, I will spend time with my family, and my grandson Maharup. I will abide by all conditions laid down by the court.
“I will cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation wholeheartedly. I won’t break the law. I want to enjoy the Durga puja now,” said a beaming Mitra, as he was driven out of the jail.
Asked about his political future, Mitra said the doctors have advised him not to go into any political discussions now. “I am only looking forward to spending time with my family members. Time will prove that I am innocent.”
Mitra said when he joined politics, he was rooted to the ground. “But then I reached the peak. But now I am again on the ground, a lonely man.”
However, the former minister categorically said he would follow whatever instructions were given by Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee. “She is my leader. Whenever and whatever instructions she gives me, I will follow that.”
He said his defeat at Kamarhati during the Assembly polls earlier this year was the result of a conspiracy. “I was the victim of a conspiracy.”
Mitra’s lawyers have decided to approach the court for an amendment to the bail order so as to enable him to return to his residence.
Mitra was behind bars since his arrest in the multi-billion rupee scam on December 12, 2014, except for a brief period in October 2015, when he was granted bail by a lower court. The relief was subsequently cancelled by the Calcutta High Court.
On Friday, Additional District Judge, Alipore, Uttam Kumar Nandy granted Mitra’s bail on twin bonds of Rs 15 lakh each. Besides depositing his passport with the CBI, the court has ordered Mitra to appear before the central agency on a periodic basis and not to leave the city limits.
Indicted of cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust, the former state Transport and Sports Minister was one of the most high profile arrests in the Saradha scam after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the probe.
Mitra had stepped down as minister on November 19 last year, hours before the Calcutta High Court eventually cancelled his bail granted by a lower court.
With Mitra having resigned as a minister and also lost the assembly polls, his counsel were successful in convincing the court that he was no more an “influential persona”.
Meanwhile, the CBI said it would move the Calcutta High Court in appeal against the bail.
“CBI is filing the application seeking cancellation of this interim bail order within seven working days,” said the agency’s senior counsel K Raghav Charyulu.
“The statement by the Trinamool secretary general (Partha Chatterjee) as reported in the media said he was a main leader of the Trinamool. And that he (Mitra) is influential and a social worker. The contention of the CBI has been supported by the secretary general of the ruling party.”