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Narada Sting Case: SC Setback For Mamata, Refuses Stay on HC order

“It is demeaning to say a No to CBI. You can tell us your fear and we will protect you,” said the SC. But even then the TMC counsel pleaded that a court monitored investigation would be better and submitted that the apex court had in past “doubted CBI many times.”

Sougata Mukhopadhyay, Debayan Roy

Updated:March 21, 2017, 8:31 PM IST
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Narada Sting Case: SC Setback For Mamata, Refuses Stay on HC order
Grab of TMC leader Sougata Roy allegedly taking cash in Narada sting video. (File photo)
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Kolkata: Just when Trinamool Congress (TMC) was pinning hope on its petition in the Supreme Court on Tuesday to avert a CBI probe into the Narada sting as ordered by the Calcutta High Court, it ended up rendering an unconditional apology for bringing up such a petition and SC dismissed the case accepting the apology.

The SC bench stated that the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the West Bengal government in Narada sting case “was an unfortunate thing and called for outright rejection.”

On Friday, Calcutta High Court told CBI to hold a preliminary probe in the sting which had alleged a huge corruption scandal where TMC leaders were seen accepting cash from a man seeking favours in the Mamata government.
The Calcutta HC had ordered that CBI should conduct a preliminary enquiry within 72 hours and file an FIR. Meanwhile, TMC leader Saugata Roy moved SC seeking to stop the CBI probe.

On Tuesday, the TMC counsel said that the court should not “throw them in front of the lioness (CBI)” and that they were ready for a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe. But SC refused to buy the theory and stated that such aspersions cannot be casted over the premier investigating agency of the country.


“It is demeaning to say a No to CBI. You can tell us your fear and we will protect you,” said the SC. But even then the TMC counsel pleaded that a court monitored investigation would be better and submitted that the apex court had in past “doubted CBI many times.”

“This disturbs the federal structure and the court should not be passing such orders,” submitted the petitioner.
This observation did not go down well with the SC bench and TMC counsel had to render an unconditional apology which was accepted by the court before the petition being dismissed as requested by the petitioner later.

The Supreme Court noted that there was no infirmity in the Calcutta HC order and stated that “the rights of the petitioners were fully protected.” It also stated that CBI should be allowed to carry on the investigation and relaxed the deadline of concluding the investigation within 72 hours.

SC extended the 72-hour deadline given to the CBI to complete the preliminary enquiry, saying that it was "rather harsh". The court extended the time to a month for completing the preliminary enquiry by CBI.

The Narada tapes, which were found prima facie genuine by the Calcutta High Court, claims to have exposed at least a dozen top rung Trinamool leaders accepting bribes in cash in return for prospective government favours to a fictitious company. Of these leaders many are sitting MPs, MLAs and even senior ministers in Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet.


An IPS officer, currently serving the Bengal government, was also allegedly seen accepting cash on behalf of a leader. The footage was reportedly shot ahead of the Lok Sabha polls of 2014 and aired ahead of the 2016 Assembly elections in Bengal. The CBI reportedly has already examined the evidences which include the edited and raw audio and video clips indicting the accused.

Meanwhile, the reactions from the opposition parties in Bengal came thick and fast.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said that the Supreme Court verdict in consonance with the people of Bengal. “The people of Bengal want corrupt politicians to be punished. They were defeated in the High Court and moved Supreme Court where they were defeated again. They were even made to tender apology,” he added.

But it was the Left which vent out sharper criticisms against Mamata Banerjee. “If she is sincere about it thenshe should get rid of these ministers and leaders that belong to her party and the Government. Maybe she should invite CBI saying I am ready to face interrogation if necessary,” said Surjyakanta Mishra, secretary of the CPI-M Bengal unit.

Some legal experts in Kolkata felt that the state should not have involved itself in this mess where individuals of high political standings are accused of public corruption. “This has given out an impression that the government is ready to throw its weight behind dubious individuals who belong to the ruling political dispensation,” said a senior lawyer on condition of anonymity.

(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
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