A Facebook post made by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rakesh Singh ahead of his release from jail on Monday raised questions over the West Bengal prison authorities. The legal fraternity demanded an investigation into how he used a mobile phone to post on Facebook from inside the jail premises. Singh was supposed to be released from jail on Monday after he was granted bail by Calcutta High Court on November 24.
He was arrested by the Kolkata police on February 23, 2021, in connection with a drug-related case. The court had asked him to furnish a bail bond of Rs 2 lakh — four sureties of Rs 50,000 each and now he will be released from jail today.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Singh informed his supporters that formalities have been completed and he will be released from jail at 7 PM on Monday. Keeping in mind threats posed by a coronavirus, he has requested his well-wishers not to crowd in front of the Presidency jail, Kolkata.
He has shared the post in English, Hindi, and Bengali languages.
Legal experts say that even if it is assumed that an acquaintance made the post from Rakesh Singh’s Facebook account on his behalf on Sunday night, the long message in English, Bengali and Hindi in the post mentions ‘I’ instead of ‘He’.
Lawyer Anirban Guha Thakurta said, “Even if the court grants bail, the arrested person can not use a mobile phone inside jail. In this case, the prison authorities can not avoid the responsibility of negligence. How did a mobile phone reach the hands of a prisoner without the attention of the jail authorities? It needs to be investigated.”
Singh was arrested in February while travelling on the Kolkata-Delhi national highway at Galsi in the Purba Bardhaman district of West Bengal.
Singh’s counsel Rajdeep Majumdar requesting the bail from Calcutta HC had submitted that there was no drug recovered from the possession of the accused. Majumdar also submitted that the prosecution has not been able to provide any proof of conspiracy. Later, the court granted him bail on November 24.