KOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee may have been following her convention of agitations during the dharna at the CBI office in Kolkata on Monday, but it seems to have gone against the four party leaders arrested in the Narada sting operation case, with the High Court taking serious view of the matter, legal experts said. Pulling up Mamata Banerjee for the dharna, while Trinamool supporters agitated in front of the Central agency’s office, the Kolkata High Court in a late night sitting on Monday criticised the “manner in which pressure was sought to be put”.
Staying a CBI special court’s order granting interim bail to the four accused and remanding them — TMC ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim, MLA Madan Mitra and Kolkata former mayor Sovan Chatterjee in judicial custody, the court observed: “We are not touching the merits of the controversy but the manner in which pressure was sought to be put will not inspire confidence of the people in the rule of law.”
Legal experts in Kolkata High Court said that Mamata was following her convention by staging protest.
“It is her trademark style. She sat on dharna for one month in Singur against the then Left Front government’s land acquisition. She staged a sit-in-demonstration in Nandigram. She again sat on dharna when the CBI arrived at the office of the former police commissioner of Kolkata Rajeev Kumar. Now, it seems, her dharna at the CBI’s office went against the accused in the High Court,” said a senior lawyer.
The CBI, in its petition, stated the details of Mamata’s act and the obstructions created by the TMC supporters in front its Nizam Palace office. The investigating agency also sought the court’s approval to transfer the case to another state. Referring to CBI’s petition, the High Court said: “In our opinion, the aforesaid facts are sufficient to take cognizance of the present matter with reference to the request of the learned Solicitor General of India for examination of the issue regarding transfer of the trial.”
In the petition, CBI also alleged that Bengal law minister Malay Ghatak, along with supporters, mobbed the court where the accused were to be presented. The central agency had to produce the four accused in front of the lower court’s magistrate virtually.