In what is likely to be interpreted as contempt of court, Mansa district planning committee chairman and former MLA Mangat Rai Bansal, who was released from the district jail on Wednesday, has cricitised the CBI special court judge for wrongly convicting him in for embezzlement of paddy. He also addressed a posse of his supporters outside the jail.
On Tuesday, Bansal had reportedly called up journalists from inside his jail cell, asking for favourable coverage of his release.
The HT reporter too received a call from the number (+91 9878310866) on Tuesday evening. The caller, purportedly Bansal, said: "Sir, I am speaking from Mansa jail as I was transferred from Patiala jail after getting bail from high court. I am being released on Wednesday. Please ensure good coverage. You will find a huge crowd outside the jail tomorrow."
After addressing his supporters outside the jail, he arrived at the local grain market and claimed: "The special court judge convicted me in a wrong manner, as I had exposed a bribery scandal involving him. I am the victim of a political conspiracy and CBI officials are playing into the hands of big politicians. The case against me and my supporters is false. The truth will be out soon as I have full faith in the Punjab and Haryana High Court."
"It's a big sin today to claim CBI as unbiased," he alleged.
Mansa jail superintendent Sukhwinder Singh said, "No prisoner can use a mobile phone inside the jail. We do provide STD facility. Bansal was transferred to Mansa jail on Tuesday evening and released at 10 am on Wednesday. He did not use a phone. If you give us the number he called you from, it will be traced and the truth will come out."
What is the case?
In April, Bansal along with 21 others, was convicted and sentenced to seven-year rigorous imprisonment in a 14-year-old paddy embezzlement case by a special CBI court of judge Hemant Gopal at Patiala.
Rice millers from Bareta in Mansa and three FCI officials were also jailed for their role in the supply and procurement of substandard rice.
On August 12, the Punjab and Haryana High Court bench headed by justice Sabina granted bail to Mangat Rai Bansal, Raj Kumar, Pawan Kumar Singla, Tarsem Chand and Surinder Kumar.
WHO IS MANGAT RAI BANSAL
Bansal had won the 2007 assembly poll from Budhlada in Mansa on a Congress ticket. In 2012, he lost to Janmeja Singh Sekhon of SAD from Maur. In September 2012, Bansal joined the SAD.