Narada scam updates: TMC leaders' bail stayed, taken to Presidency jail. 10 points4 min read . Updated: 18 May 2021, 06:24 AM IST
- The leaders were arrested on Monday morning but by late evening, the CBI court granted them bail
Narada scam: In late night development, the Calcutta High Court stayed the bail granted to arrested TMC leaders — Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, MLA Madan Mitra and Former Mayor of Kolkata Sovan Chatterjee — by a CBI court in the Narada sting case. They were later sent to Presidency jail. The leaders were arrested on Monday morning but by late evening, the CBI court granted them bail. However, the CBI moved high court, which stayed the bail order and put up the matter for hearing on may 19.
On Monday morning, the CBI arrested three TMC MLAs including two ministers, Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee. In a statement, the agency said: "The Central Bureau of Investigation has today arrested four accused persons who were the then Ministers in Government of West Bengal in a case related to Narada Sting Operation. CBI had registered the instant case on 16.04.2017 against certain public servants and unknown others on conclusion of the Preliminary Enquiry initiated by it, in compliance of the Order dated 17.3.2017 of the Hon’ble High Court at Calcutta."
The arrested leaders were then produced virtually before the CBI court, which granted bail. Special CBI court judge Anupam Mukherjee granted bail to TMC leaders after hearing their lawyers and the counsel for the CBI. The court, however, directed that each of the four persons will have to pay two sureties of ₹25,000 each as bail bonds. The leaders were also directed to co-operate with the agency and meet the investigating officer once a fortnight till further orders. The CBI had sought judicial remand of the four arrested, while their lawyers pleaded for bail.
Then CBI moved Calcutta HC, saying probe cannot be carried out because the leaders are influential. The HC stayed the CBI court's decision to grant bail and put the matter for hearing on May 19. The central agency had moved a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Arijit Banerjee. The bench directed that the accused shall be treated to be in judicial custody till further orders.
Reacting to the development, TMC leader Madan Mitra said that the Central government, mainly both the leaders (PM Modi and Amit Shah) can't accept the recent poll verdict of the people of Bengal. Minister Firhad Hakim's daughter Shabba Hakim said that it was a conspiracy by PM Modi and Amit Shah as they could not win Bengal democratically. "Now they want to win it by arresting the most popular leaders and creating conspiracies to pave the way for a presidential rule," she said while speaking to ANI. She said that the bail was granted but for four hours they were illegally detained and somehow CBI knew that the bail will be cancelled. "Our lawyers didn't even appear before the High Court and bail got cancelled," she said.
Earlier, a team of doctors arrived at the CBI's office for a medical check-up of four TMC leaders who were arrested.
After the arrest of TMC leaders, Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee launched a scathing attack on the Governor and said he was a "bloodsucker and roaming around like a mad dog". He said Governor had vindictively sanctioned the prosecuting request by the CBI without consultation of the state government. "The Governor has become a bloodsucker. He is now trying to secure a ticket before the 2024 elections from the BJP. Because of this he is doing whatever he pleases against TMC. That Governor is whimsical, and a bloodsucker. He should not stay here for even a minute. He is roaming around here like a mad dog," Kalyan Banerjee told media persons.
Following the arrest of TMC leaders, ruling party supporters pelted stones on security forces in West Bengal outside the CBI office.
What CBI says
In a statement, the central agency said after a year long hearings, the Calcutta High Court directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry and based upon the result of the preliminary enquiry, the agency should forthwith register an FIR in respect of the alleged crime and proceed to investigate the same in accordance with Law. It said that the accused challenged the HC order but Supreme Court upheld the directions of the High Court.
The CBI said it conducted the preliminary enquiry into the allegations expeditiously. "Enquiry revealed prima facie material for registration of a Regular Case(FIR) under appropriate sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and IPC. Therefore, a RC/FIR was registered and investigated by the CBI against the FIR named accused," it said.
The agency further said that main allegation in the case was that the accused as public servants demanded and accepted illegal-gratification to show favor to a private person who was posing as a representative of a fictitious company at the time of transaction and discreetly recording the same. "After investigation, CBI report was sent to different competent authorities to grant sanction to prosecute the accused. Sanction was received from the Competent Authority on 07.05.2021 in respect of the said accused. Sanction for one more accused, the then SP has also been received," it said.
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