Kolkata: West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra, arrested in the multi-crore rupee Saradha scam late last year, was on Saturday granted bail by a city court.
The Trinamool leader was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on December 12. The agency in its charge sheet had indicted Mitra for several offences including criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal breach of trust.
A designated CBI court in the city granted bail to the 62-year-old leader on a personal bond of Rs.2 lakh.
The court also directed Mitra to submit his passport and not to go out of the state. The minister has also been directed to appear before the investigating agency if and when summoned for the purpose of the investigation.
Behind bars for nearly 11 months, Mitra's bail plea had been rejected multiple times including by the Calcutta High Court.
Congress leader and noted advocate Kapil Sibal too had unsuccessfully pleaded for his bail in a court earlier.
Citing non availability of the case diary, the CBI counsel pleaded before the court to defer the hearing but the plea was turned down.
Pressing for his bail, Mitra's counsel said the CBI has failed to substantiate its charges against the minister.
"Not a single investor testified against him. The CBI kept on opposing his bail but they could not produce any evidence about his involvement in the case," said Mitra's counsel Ashok Mukherjee.
As soon as the news of his bail spread, Trinamool supporters and family members rushed to the state-run SSKM Hospital where Mitra is undergoing treatment.