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Calcutta HC adjourns Saradha bail hearings to August 4

Updated: Jul 15, 2016 14:27 IST

Kolkata, July 15 (ANI): Bail hearings for four accused in the Saradha Chit Fund scam were adjourned by the Calcutta High Court to August 4, 2016 at the request of lawyers of the accused.

An elderly senior advocate representing one of the accused came to court and complained of high blood pressure and requested for an adjournment. In a gesture of camaraderie not usually seen in courtrooms, the other well known senior advocate representing two other matters said he would also take adjournment and would rush his colleague to the emergency room. The court agreed.

The four accused had been preparing for bail and it was the first time that the court would have heard in full the application of Manoranjana Sinh, whose case was partially heard for the first time on June 23 last but was then adjourned at the request of the Special Prosecutor of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

It has been Manoranjana's plea that she was detained as an accused on October 7, 2015 and filed an application for bail on January 19, 2016 in the High Court, which according to sources close to her, is yet to be heard.

Manoranjana won a little reprieve when the Supreme Court directed the Calcutta High Court on May 25 to expedite the hearing at the earliest.

Sinh appealed on the basis of merits of her case, saying she has fully cooperated with investigation by Justice Sen Commission, SIT Bidhannagar Kolkata, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and she is a woman allowed under special provision of law to be considered for bail and that she has suffered from multiple ailments for more than nine months.

In the chargesheets filed by CBI on January 4, 2016 and the Enforcement Directorate on March 31, 2016, the partial investment made by Bengal Media of the Saradha Group into her companies is recorded, identified and has also be filed by her company and her duly in taxes.

Manoranjana case made headlines also because her estranged husband Matang Sinh, an ousted from Congress party former Union Minister was found to be influencing investigation.

Manoranjana has been in acrimonious disputes with him in Guwahati and Delhi courts all the way up to the Supreme Court since she filed an FIR against her estranged husband in September 2008. Her lawyers allege that there is a misconception that still links Manoranjana with her estranged husband.

Today's postponed hearings included former Saradha legal advisor Naresh Bhalodia, entrepreneur Shantanu Ghosh and one Ramesh Gandhi said to be a consultant to Saradha head Sudipto Sen.

Meanwhile, the accused have been constantly pressing various courts to conclude their investigation and give them a chance to go to trial.

Sources said Manoranjana's lawyers will fight for the right to liberty, life and justice for a single woman with a young child who has been victimised as she had signed an agreement with Bengal Media to not interfere with her ongoing dispute with her estranged husband on her rights to marital property, jointly owned businesses from which he had ousted her and even out in the agreement that Bengal Media (Sudipto) will not invest with and help her fight against Matang Sinh.

Quite surreptitiously, she alleges that Sudipto was pressurised by Matang Sinh and stopped investing in her companies in end 2011 and around the same time invested more into Matang Sinh companies than in Manoranjana's. Manoranjana received Rs 25 crores in accounted investment as claimed by Sudipto in his investigation and as fracked and identified by ED and CBI.

Lawyers claim that in the unique case of a woman accused, with charge sheets already filed, money tracked and cooperation with investigation she stands on merit for bail. CBI is alleged to have introduced an element in recent months of not wanting courts to release accused on bail pending completion of investigation which is now only trying to include certain regulatory authorities officials who may also be involved. (ANI)

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