Arrest of Bengal ministers, others in Narada case illegal: Assembly Speaker
Kolkata, May 17: West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee on Monday dubbed as illegal the arrest of two Bengal ministers and others in the Narada case, contending that the CBI action on the basis of the governor''s sanction was unlawful.
"I have not received any letter from the CBI nor has anybody sought permission from me as per the protocol," Banerjee said.
The central probe agency on Monday morning arrested state ministers Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, TMC MLA Madan Mitra as well as former minister Sovan Chatterjee in connection with the Narada sting case in which politicians were purportedly caught taking money on camera.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had recently granted sanction to prosecute all the four leaders, following which the CBI finalised its charge sheet and moved to arrest them.
"I do not know for what unknown reason they went to the governor and sought his sanction. The chair of the speaker was not vacant at that time, I was very much in office.
"This sanction is absolutely illegal and arresting anyone on the basis of this sanction is also illegal," Banerjee claimed.
The Narada sting tapes, made public before the 2016 assembly elections in West Bengal, were claimed to have been shot in 2014, wherein people resembling TMC ministers, MPs and MLAs were allegedly seen receiving money from representatives of a fictitious company in lieu of promised favours.
The sting operation was allegedly conducted by Mathew Samuel of Narada News portal.
The Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the sting operation in March, 2017.