A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday upheld a single-judge order that had refused to grant protection from arrest to Trinamool Congress MLA Anubrata Mondal in a case related to alleged cattle smuggling, Live Law reported.

Mondal, the Trinamool Congress’ district president for Birbhum, has on four occasions, skipped summons from the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the case, according to The Indian Express.

On March 11, Justice Rajesekhar Mantha of the Calcutta High Court had dismissed Mondal’s petition seeking protection from arrest. He had held that the matter did not warrant interference under Article 226 of the Constitution, which deals with the power of High Courts to issue orders to protect fundamental rights.

The judge had dismissed Mondal’s plea filed on medical grounds noting that he has travelled outside his hometown of Bolpur in Birbhum district on multiple occasions since the case was filed.

“He has appeared in Kolkata before the Medical Board, the ailments referred to by the Medical Board are not as serious as to require the petitioner to his home or hospital,” the court had said.

On Tuesday, a bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj observed that there was no error in the single judge’s order.

The case

On September 21, 2020, the CBI filed a case against Border Security Force commandant Satish Kumar and three others in connection with allegations of allowing illegal cattle trade along the border between West Bengal and Bangladesh, according to The Indian Express.

The agency had arrested the main accused, cattle trader Mohammad Enamul Haque, in New Delhi in November 2020. According to its first information report, Haque and two other cattle traders named Anarul Sheikh and Muhammad Ghulam Mustafa engaged in illegal trade, the Hindustan Times reported.

On February 15, the agency had interrogated TMC MP and actor Deepak Adhikari in connection with the case. The agency claimed that it had information that funds provided by Haque were to be used for a movie starring Adhikari. The MP, however, has denied the allegation.

The CBI has alleged that cattle seized by the BSF would be undervalued, so that traders could buy them at low prices and then sell then in Bangladesh, according to the Hindustan Times. The agency has claimed that a part of the money from the sale went to some TMC leaders and government officials.