Top Court seeks CBI's reply on Anubrata Mondal's bail plea in Cattle Smuggling Case

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Mondal, a close aide to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was arrested last year in August in connection with the cattle smuggling case

Supreme Court today sought for Central Bureau of Investigation's response in a plea filed by Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal in connection with a cattle smuggling case.

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi has issued notice to CBI and sought for a response from the agency in two weeks.

Mondal has approached the top court challenging the Calcutta High Court's refusal to grant him bail.

Birbhum Trinamool leader Anubrata, was arrested last year in the cow smuggling case. A joint team of the CBI and Food Corporation of India (FCI) had raided the rice mill in the Badhagora area, allegedly belonging to Mondal's nephew, who is also a local Trinamool Congress leader.

The CBI had frozen fixed deposits worth Rs 16.97 crore allegedly belonging to the TMC leader and his family members in connection with its ongoing probe into the Bengal cattle smuggling across the Indo-Bangladesh border. The central agency sleuths detected the fixed deposits during their continuing probe in the case.

Mondal had also approached the Delhi High Court in December last year challenging the production warrant issued by Rouse Avenue Court, Delhi in the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) case, in connection with the multi-crore cattle smuggling case in West Bengal.

On December 19, last year Special Judge Raghubir Singh issued a production warrant for the TMC Leader and ordered, "The Jail Superintendent Asansol Correctional Home, Asansol, Pashmimi Bardhman, West Bengal is hereby directed to produce this accused namely Anubrata Mondal before the Court of undersigned”.

Notably, on August 11, 2022, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Anubrata Mondal, a close aide to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in connection with the cattle smuggling case. On August 5, the CBI served a summons on Mondal for questioning in connection with the cattle smuggling case. On August 8, Mondal was summoned to the CBI office at Nizam's Palace in Kolkata.

In April, the trial court took cognizance of a chargesheet filed by the ED against other accused namely former Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Vinay Mishra, his brother Vikas Mishra and Md. Enamul Haque, the alleged kingpin of cattle smuggling ruckus across the India-Bangladesh border.

Last year, Mondal had sought direction for no coercive steps stating that he was suffering from a variety of ailments and prayed that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) be asked to question him through video conferencing from his residence at Bolpur in Birbhum.

Case Title: Anubrata Mondal vs. CBI