In a major setback to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Supreme Court has said that the Narada sting case will be probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The SC also rejected the petitioner's plea for a probe by a Special Investigation Team monitored by the SC. Following these observations, the West Bengal state government withdrew its appeal.
The government also tendered an apology for casting aspersions on the HC judges who ordered the CBI probe. The court said that the inferences and opinions of the Calcutta High Court shall not influence the CBI probe.
Based on a directive by the Calcutta high court, the CBI on Monday registered a preliminary inquiry in connection with the Narada sting operation case. The CBI has named several ministers in the West Bengal government, bureaucrats, members of parliament, police personnel and an ex-MLA in the case.
The CBI has also taken into its possession, a laptop and the spy cameras that were used by Narada to conduct the sting operation.
The Calcutta high court on Friday said that the Narada sting operation will be probed by the CBI. "They behaved like puppets of the state," the court observed while coming down heavily on the Kolkata police who were probing the case.
The court ordered that the CBI pick up the case papers in 24 hours and get the preliminary inquiry started within 72 hours. The sting operation was conducted by Narada News in which it showed several ministers accepting bribes ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh for favours to a fictitious company.
The court, however, had harsh words for the police and found that the probe was not up to the mark. It felt that the probe would be better handled by the CBI. The court while commenting on the probe by the Kolkata police said," at best they behaved like puppets of the state."