WB cattle smuggling: HC grants time to ED to respond to bail plea of Sukanya Mondal

 The Delhi High Court Tuesday granted time to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file written submissions in response to a bail plea of Sukanya Mondal, arrested in a money laundering case related to cattle smuggling in West Bengal.

Sukanya is a daughter of Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal, who too is in judicial custody in the same case.

Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma, who had on July 5 issued notice to the ED on the bail petition and asked it to file a status report in the case, granted the agency one more week to file its written submissions.

During the hearing, the counsel for Sukanya sought bail for her on the ground that she was a woman and was in custody for more than 110 days.

The counsel also submitted she is not an accused in the scheduled offence.

The high court listed the matter for further hearing on September 11.

In another petition, Sukanya has also challenged her arrest by the ED in the case.

The 31-year-old daughter of TMC’s Birbhum strongman was arrested by the ED on April 26. She has challenged the trial court’s June 1 order dismissing her bail plea.

Her counsel had earlier submitted that the trial court denied her bail without appreciating facts and relevant law in true and correct perspective.

“The petitioner is no more required in custody for the purpose of this case as the ED has completed its investigation and has already filed the supplementary complaint qua her,” the plea said, claiming Sukanya was innocent and was falsely implicated in the case.

The plea also sought parity for his client, as co-accused Tania Sanyal has already been granted bail by the trial court, and claimed that the petitioner’s case was on a better footing.

The petition submitted that Sanyal is the wife of BSF commandant Satish Kumar, a key accused in the case. It said Sanyal is accused of receiving bribe for cattle smuggling from Enamul Haque, another accused in the case, and laundering it.

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The ED prosecutor had earlier submitted before the trial court that there was incriminating material against Sukanya and a charge sheet was filed against her. The lawyer had argued that the crimes under probe threatened to jeopardise national security and weaken the country’s economy.

Anubrata Mondal, Trinamool Congress’s Birbhum district president, was earlier arrested by the CBI in connection with the same case on August 11 last year.

The ED arrested him on November 17, 2022, in the alleged multi-crore cattle smuggling scam after questioning him at the Asansol jail where he was lodged.

According to the ED, it registered the money laundering case following an FIR by the CBI in Kolkata against Satish Kumar, who was then a BSF Commandant.

The CBI FIR alleged that Anubrata Mondal, along with Kumar, other public servants and private persons, was involved in the multi-crore cattle smuggling racket.

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