The Supreme Court has called upon the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to respond to a bail request made by Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal, who is currently in custody in connection with an alleged cattle smuggling case. The bench, comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi, has issued a notice to the CBI, requesting its reply to Mondal's plea.
Anubrata Mondal's earlier bail plea was rejected by the Calcutta High Court in January. Mondal, who serves as the Birbhum district president for the ruling TMC in West Bengal, has sought bail, citing his prolonged detention of over 145 days in connection with the case.
The CBI has opposed his request, alleging that his release could potentially obstruct the ongoing investigation into the cattle smuggling case by influencing witnesses under scrutiny. The CBI contends that Mondal, leveraging his political influence, played a pivotal role in facilitating the smooth transportation of cattle through Birbhum district, ultimately for smuggling them into Bangladesh.
Mondal's legal representation, however, argues that no concrete evidence substantiates these claims.
Anubrata Mondal, a prominent Trinamool Congress leader, was arrested on August 11 of the previous year in connection with a case involving alleged cattle smuggling to Bangladesh. The charges against him included bribery of Border Security Force (BSF) personnel.
A High Court bench, consisting of Justices Joymalya Bagchi and Ajay Kumar Gupta, observed that Mondal held significant influence and was accused of intimidating witnesses, raising concerns about potential interference in the case.
According to the prosecution, the primary accused, Md Enamul Haque, along with his associates, had conspired with BSF personnel and customs officials to engage in the illegal smuggling of cattle to Bangladesh.