Kolkata, Sept 9: The Alipore court has granted bail to veteran Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Madan Mitra in the Saradha scam case. The former state cabinet minister was one of the prime accused in the ponzi scam costing more than Rs 1,200 crores. Mitra was under arrest for the past 21 months. He was taken into custody on December 2, 2014. After being arrested, Mitra had to relinquish the post of state education minister which was accorded to him by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The bail granted to him comes as a relief to the TMC leadership which is still battling the flak drawn by the party due to the massive financial scandal. Also Read - 'Bengal Maango Toh Cheer Denge': TMC's Madan Mitra Issues Violent Threat To BJP
The Alipore court has instructed Mitra’s counsel to deposit a bail bond of Rs 30 lakhs to ensure the release of the accused leader. As of now, only bail has been granted. Mitra’s name has not been cleared from the scam. Proceedings in the case will continue. Although the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had objected to bail, court decided to overlook their concerns. As per the CBI counsel, Mitra is still a leading politician, who could end up influencing the witnesses if he is set free. Also Read - Will Never Bow My Head Before BJP, Says Mamata Banerjee, Calls Saffron Party More Dangerous Than Maoists
The Saradha scam rattled the TMC government in the state in 2013, damaging the perception of Mamata Banerjee led government among the urban voters. Madan Mitra, despite being considered as a heavyweight, suffered a shocking defeat in the 2016 assembly elections. He was defeated by CPI(M) candidate Manas Mukherjee. (ALSO READ: Left mass organisations demonstrate over Saradha scam probe) Also Read - Samajwadi Party Will Support Mamata Banerjee's TMC In Upcoming West Bengal Polls, Confirms Akhilesh Yadav
Madan Mitra was charged as the top politician facilitating the scam duping innocent investors. However, the TMC leader has claimed innocence, and asserted before the bench that he has co-operated before the probing panel in all possible manner since the past 18 months, and therefore he should be granted bail.