Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Monday granted interim bail to former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh’s husband M A V Raju till November 30 in connection with the probe into a case of alleged extortion and illegal exchange of banned notes for gold.
Granting conditional bail to Raju, a bench comprising justices Joymalyo Bagchi and R K Kapoor noted his lawyer’s submission that the principal accused in the case, Bharati Ghosh, had approached the Supreme Court which had passed a restraining order on her arrest.
The bench directed Raju to furnish a bond of Rs one lakh to the court of Midnapore chief judicial magistrate with two sureties of same amount as condition for granting the interim bail till November 30.
Raju was directed not to leave the municipal jurisdiction of Kolkata without permission from the court . He will also provide his residential address to the court.
He was also directed to meet the investigating officer, a DSP-rank officer of the state CID, once a week at the probe agency’s office.
The matter will appear before the division bench for hearing again on November 26.
Raju’s lawyer Debasish Roy submitted that the petitioner is a victim of political intrigue and that he has been falsely implicated.
Advocate General Kishore Dutta opposed the bail plea, submitting that the petitioner had met his wife at Indore during hearing of his pre-arrest bail prayer and was part of a conspiracy to threaten witnesses.
Dutta submitted that the principal accused, along with the petitioner, had misused her position as an IPS officer and had bought gold using demonetised notes and that she was in possession of enormous wealth beyond her known sources of income.
The court also noted that Raju has been in custody for 55 days.
He was arrested by the CID immediately after the high court had refused his anticipatory bail prayer.
The bench said that it was not willing to go into these issues at this stage since the accused has been in custody for 55 days and the principal accused has been granted protection from arrest from the Supreme Court.
Ghosh, who was the West Midnapore superintendent of police for more than six years, was transferred as commandant of the third battalion of the state armed police on December 26 last year. She resigned from service two days later.
She was once considered close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and was also awarded a service medal on August 15, 2014.
Ghosh was transferred twice, once by the Election Commission before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the second time by the state itself before the 2016 Assembly elections.
She was, however, reinstated as West Midnapore SP as soon as the elections got over on both occasions.
An arrest warrant was issued against Ghosh in connection with an extortion case registered at Daspur police station in West Midnapore district, following her resignation.