Bad news for Trinamool as Narada probe goes to CBI

Reacting to the order, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the TMC and her government would challenge it before the Supreme Court.

Published: 18th March 2017 03:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2017 03:49 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOLKATA:Observing that the conduct of public figures must be beyond reproach, the Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered the CBI to conduct a preliminary probe into the Narada sting operation, in which some Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders were allegedly seen taking money. The court also directed the CBI to register an FIR, if required, and initiate formal investigations thereafter.

Reacting to the order, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the TMC and her government would challenge it before the Supreme Court. “The TMC will fight the order both politically and legally.” She termed the court order to stop the Kolkata Police investigation into the matter “unfortunate”. Meanwhile, the Opposition parties in West Bengal seized upon the judgement and demanded immediate removal of “tainted” ministers from the State Cabinet.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborti directed the CBI to take possession of all material and devices related to the sting operation within 24 hours and conclude the preliminary enquiry within 72 hours. It said that since allegations have been made against ministers, MPs and other senior leaders from the State, it would be just to direct the CBI, and not a State agency, to conduct a preliminary enquiry. The court also observed that the CBI was the most suitable agency to conduct an independent probe.

The Narada tapes, which were released before the 2016 Assembly elections in West Bengal, showed leaders allegedly taking money. The bench noted that a report by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Chandigarh, had stated that the tapes were not tampered with.



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