Supreme Court judge Justice Aniruddha Bose on Tuesday recused himself from hearing petitions of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and state law minister Moloy Ghatak challenging the Calcutta high court order to deny them from filing an affidavit in connection with the 2016 Narada sting case.
The CM and law minister wanted to file affidavits to present their version on the CBI’s request to shift the Narada case out of Bengal on grounds of pressure from the state government.
However, the high court said they both did not file affidavits at the right time, “now they cannot be allowed to file the affidavits at their own whims and fancies."
Earlier, Justice Indira Banerjee had opted out of a separate case related to violence in parts of Bengal after the May 2 state election verdict that gave Banerjee a massive victory.
The Narada case involves a sting operation by a journalist in which several Trinamool leaders were allegedly caught on camera accepting cash in bribe.
The CBI has accused Banerjee and TMC leaders of carrying out protests after arrests of the MLAs to pressure the trial court and influence the bail hearing. Banerjee did not deny that she had visited the CBI office on May 17, but said she was there not as a CM but “as a citizen and as a person acquainted with some of accused persons and family of the accused persons”.
She had moved the apex court on Monday to “counter the allegations" made by the CBI.
“There is no evidence of the petitioner holding a dharna or gherao or siege outside the CBI office and are thus false allegations. The petitioner at no point made a forcible entry at the office of the CBI, rather, she cleared a three-tier system of central paramilitary security, as applicable to all persons entering the CBI office premises…when she was present at the CBI office, she abided by all directions issued by officers of the CBI.”