In Narada plea, CBI cites terror created by Mamata Banerjee’s presence
New Delhi, May 19: In its plea before the Calcutta High Court, the Central Bureau of Investigation has made West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee and law minister, Moloy Ghatak a party in the Narada Bribery Case.
The CBI said it could not seek the custody of the four accused on Monday as a result of the terror related by and at the behest the arrested accused persons by the presence of the Chief Minister and others. After the arrests, a huge crowd of Trinamool workers had gathered outside the CBI's office in Kolkata.
Mamata had held a dharna at the sport and had contended that the ministers were arrested without due process. She had also challenged the CBI to arrest her. The CBI alleged that this was part of the larger and well thought of design to terrorise the investigating agency and preventing it from discharging its statutory functions.
The CBI on Monday arrested TMC leaders Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee and Madan Mitra as well as former party leader Sovan Chatterjee in Kolkata in connection with the Narada sting case in which politicians were purportedly caught taking money on camera, officials said.
Soon after the news of their arrest spread, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with other leaders reached the CBI office.
The CBI had approached West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar seeking sanction to prosecute Hakim, Mukherjee, Mitra and Chatterjee, who were all ministers during the time of the alleged commission of the offence in 2014, they said.
Dhankar had recently granted sanction to prosecute all the four leaders following which the CBI finalised its charge sheet and moved to arrest them.
Hakim, Mukherjee and Mitra have been re-elected as TMC MLAs in the just-concluded assembly elections, while Chatterjee, who left the TMC to join the BJP, has severed links with both the camps.
The sting operation was purportedly conducted by Mathew Samuel of Narada TV news channel in 2014 wherein people resembling TMC ministers, MPs and MLAs were allegedly seen receiving money from representatives of a fictitious company in lieu of favours.
The tapes were made public just before the 2016 assembly elections in West Bengal.
The Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the sting operation in March, 2017.