Narada News Editor Asked to Hand Over Tapes to a Committee
KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court has directed Narada News editor Mathew Samuel to hand over the sting tapes allegedly showing Trinamool Congress leaders taking money and the device used to record these to a three-member committee, set up by it today, in Delhi.
The bench had earlier directed Samuel to submit the tapes and device before the court here along with details of the company running Narada News, a web portal which allegedly conducted sting operations a few years back on several TMC leaders, including ministers and MPs.
Samuel, however, pleaded in his affidavit that he would hand over the tapes to any authority or person as directed by the court as he apprehended threat to his life and property in the city.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A Banerjee today annouced that the committee would be set up comprising the Registrar General (Original Side) of Calcutta High Court, CBI DIG at Kolkata and an IG-rank officer of West Bengal Police which will secure the tapes and device and submit these before the court .
"The matter, which has serious ramifications on the entire system if the information is true, ... we feel the video tapes and device be kept in safe custody for meeting the ends of justice," the bench today observed while passing the order.
Taking note of Samuel's affidavit apprehending threat to his life and property, which in this case are the tapes and the device, the court directed that Samuel would hand over the original video tapes and the device to the committee members in Delhi.
The bench directed that the committee would fix the venue and time where the tapes would be handed over. The committee members would secure the tapes and device and submit these before the court.
The court directed that the DGP of West Bengal Police would depute an IG-rank officer and his name would have to be given to the court by tomorrow.
The tapes were released recently by Narada News.
Three PILs were filed seeking action against Trinamool Congress leaders who were purportedly shown accepting money in exchange for promise of favours in the sting video.