The high court on Wednesday granted bail to the three Congress MLAs from Jharkhand who were arrested in Howrah on July 31 after unaccounted for cash totalling a little over Rs 49 lakh was found in their car.
The division bench of Justices Joymalya Bagchi and Ananya Bandyopadhyay granted bail to the three — Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachhapand Naman Bixal Kongari — for three months.
The bail was granted with a few conditions, one of which bars the three from leaving the Kolkata municipal area during the period.
The MLAs have also been directed to hand their passports to police and appear before the investigating officer once a week.
They will have to furnish a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh each.
The case will come up for hearing next on November 10. On Wednesday, lawyers for the MLAs told the court that the clients, being elected representatives, would not run away if granted bail.
Besides, they said, the Bengal CID failed to come up with enough evidence to establish that the money was meant to topple the elected government of Jharkhand.
Soon after the arrests of the three, Anup Singh, another Congress MLA from Jharkhand, lodged a complaint with Ranchi police alleging that the trio had asked him to visit Kolkata with the promise that he would be paid Rs 10 crore and taken to Guwahati to meet BJP leader and Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Singh alleged in his complaint that he was promised the money as part of an effort to topple the JMM-Congress government of Jharkhand. The CID in Bengal took over the investigation and drew up a case based on Singh’s complaint.