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Narada case hearing to continue on Thursday, Kolkata police register case against CBI

The CBI files a transfer petition to move the matter out of West Bengal

May 19, 2021 06:27 pm | Updated 09:10 pm IST - Kolkata

Police personnel guard at the Calcutta High Court, during a hearing on the Narada scam case, in Kolkata,Wednesday, May 19,2021.

Police personnel guard at the Calcutta High Court, during a hearing on the Narada scam case, in Kolkata,Wednesday, May 19,2021.

The hearing at the Calcutta High Court in connection with the Narada case remained inconclusive on Wednesday and will continue on Thursday.

The development implies that the four heavyweight political leaders including two Ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim and MLA Madan Mitra and former Minister Sovan Chatterjee, arrested by the CBI on Monday, will have to spend Wednesday night in judicial custody.

Three of the four arrested except Mr. Hakim were admitted to the State-run SSKM Hospital.

The Kolkata police filed a case against CBI personnel under Section 51B of the Disaster Management Act. The case was filed at the Gariahat police station for violation of the restrictions imposed during the pandemic while arresting one of the accused. The CBI, along with the personnel of the Central forces, had picked all the accused early on Monday from their respective residences.

The CBI on Wednesday also filed a transfer petition to move the case out of West Bengal and also made Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Law Minister Moloy Ghatak and Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee party to the case. It also prayed that the division bench declare that the proceedings before the special CBI court post-production of the arrested accused virtually on May 17 are a nullity in the eyes of law. On Monday, the CBI has filed a chargesheet against five persons in the case which includes four former TMC Ministers and a former IPS officer.

The hearing in the Calcutta High Court before the division bench of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Arijit Banerjee continued for over two hours with senior counsel Abhishek Singhvi representing the arrested leaders and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the agency.

Mr. Singhvi raised questions on the manner in which stay order on the bail granted to four accused stating was given saying no court can give an order cancelling bail without giving notice to the accused. On Monday, a special court had granted bail to the accused, which was stayed by the High Court.

The Acting Chief Justice raised questions on the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for six hours at the CBI office to which Mr Singhvi said, it was a “Gandhian protest”. Mr. Mehta said the developments at the CBI office on Monday were attempts to frustrate justice.

In the Narada sting videos that had come to public domain in 2016, several TMC leaders were purportedly seen accepting cash on camera. The Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the sting operation in March 2017. Subsequently, an FIR was filed against 12 TMC leaders and an IPS officer. A few of the TMC leaders named in the FIR like Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari are now with the BJP and the CBI chargesheet has no mention of these leaders.

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