A court in New Delhi on Monday allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to bring arrested Trinamul Congress leader Anubrata Mondal to its headquarters in the national capital for questioning.
The order by the Rouse Avenue court means the Birbhunm district Trinamul president will longer be in the confines of the Asansol jail.
The central agency has been probing into alleged money trail in the multi-crore cattle smuggling case in Bengal, along with the CBI. Mondal had been arrested by the CBI in August.
Three months later, in November, the ED formally arrested Mondal. The arrest was made after the ED questioned him for several hours at the correctional home in Asansol.
During the hearing in the Delhi court, the ED’s lawyers had pleaded for Mondal’s shift to the city for questioning.
The counsel for the Trinamul leader argued since he had been arrested in the alleged cattle smuggling scam in Bengal, there was no need for his transfer to Delhi.
The hearing ended on Saturday and the verdict was pronounced on Monday. The judgement came two days after chief minister and Trinamul chairperson Mamata Banerjee had an impromptu meeting with Union home minister Amit Shah on the sidelines of the Eastern Zonal Council conference in Calcutta.
Mondal’s associates said the verdict would be challenged in Delhi High Court. The ED will be able to shift Mondal to Delhi if the high court doesn’t stay the verdict, senior officials of the agency said.
“There are few formalities that need to be completed before the accused’s shift to Delhi. A production warrant issued by the court will have to be sent to the authorities of the Asansol jail,” said a senior ED official.
The ED had moved a plea before the same Rose Avenue court for bringing Sehgal Hossain, Mondal’s arrested bodyguard, to Delhi for interrogation in the cattle smuggling scam. The court allowed the plea and Sehgal is now lodged at the Tihar jail after the questioning is over.