Kolkata: The officials of West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which is probing the cash haul case concerning three Jharkhand Congress legislators claimed before the Calcutta High Court that two days prior to the recovery of Rs 49 lakh cash from the SUV of Jamtara MLA Irfan Ansari, two among the arrested three had got Rs 75 lakhs from a Kolkata-based share trader.
CID sleuths also mentioned that before the payments, the two MLAs from Jharkhand had met some senior leaders in Guwahati.
On July 29, three Congress MLAs—Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari were intercepted by Howrah rural police at Panchla in Howrah district. Rs 49 lakhs was recovered from their vehicle which had the nameplate of Jamtara MLA. The trio was arrested by Bengal police as they could declare the source of the large amount of cash.
Post cash recovery, Congress leaders accused BJP of trying to topple the Hemant Soren-led government in Jharkhand. They also alleged that Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was plotting it, which BJP refuted.
The next day, Congress’ Bermo MLA Anup Singh, also known as Jaimangal lodged a zero FIR claiming that he was offered Rs 10 crores and a ministerial berth by the three. “They had wanted me to come to Kolkata from where they would take me to Guwahati to meet Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma,” Jaimangal had alleged.
The three legislators had petitioned before the high court to not only put a stay on the investigation but also hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which the court of Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya rejected on Thursday.
“There are several directives by the Supreme Court that state the accused in a case cannot choose the investigating agency,” said Justice Bhattacharya. “The CID can continue with its probe without any bias and in a transparent manner,” she added.
Meanwhile, the three MLAs, who have been suspended by the Congress party, are on a 10-day police remand. During the investigation, when Bengal CID officials had reached Delhi with a search and arrest warrant of one Sidharth Majumdar, they were detained by Delhi police and not allowed to arrest Majumdar, a businessman. West Bengal CID had tweeted about it and had also attached the arrest warrant. The CID also alleged that they were prevented from carrying out an investigation in Guwahati.