A single bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday released bail petitions of three Congress MLAs of Jharkhand -- arrested by the West Bengal Police after nearly Rs 49 lakhs were recovered from their vehicle -- for hearing by a division bench.
Justice Tirthankar Ghosh said that since the charge of forgery under section 467 of IPC, which entails a punishment of 10 years of imprisonment if proved guilty, has been added in the case against the three MLAs, a division bench of the high court can hear such bail application.
The accused were earlier charged under sections of IPC that involved a maximum jail term of seven years if proved guilty and as such the single bench could hear the bail applications, he said. Justice Ghosh released the bail petitions of the MLAs for their assigning by the chief justice to a division bench of the high court.
The three Congress MLAs from Jharkhand — Irfan Ansari, Rajesh Kachchap and Naman Bixal Kongari — were arrested on National Highway 16 in Howrah district on July 30. The investigation into the case is being carried out by state CID.
(With PTI inputs)