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Calcutta High Court granted bail to three Jharkhand Congress MLAs

The three Jharkhand Congress MLAs who were arrested in West Bengal in July with about Rs 50 lakh in cash and have been out on interim bail since then were granted conditional bail by the Calcutta High Court on Thursday, according to a lawyer involved in the case.

On July 30, five people were apprehended in Howrah district, including three Congress MLAs from Jharkhand — Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap, and Naman Bixal Kongari. According to police, Rs 49 lakh in cash was seized from the vehicle they were travelling in.

They were arrested a day later by Kolkata police after Congress MLA Jaimangal Singh filed a FIR against the three legislators in Ranchi, alleging they were involved in a plot to destabilise the Hemant Soren government in collaboration with the BJP.

On August 17, this year, the Calcutta High Court granted the three interim bail. However, the High Court barred them from travelling to Jharkhand and ordered them to stay in Kolkata for three months.

The case was heard in the Calcutta High Court again on Thursday, according to Koustav Bagchi, counsel for Jaimangal Singh, the complainant in the case.

‘They were granted bail with the condition that they appear in front of the investigating officer every 15 days. They have been barred from entering Assam while the investigation is underway. Legislators, on the other hand, can travel to Jharkhand,’ said a senior Calcutta High Court advocate.

Soon after their arrest, Congress suspended the three legislators and filed an anti-defection petition to remove them from the assembly. The Speaker is currently hearing the petition.

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