A day after West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and her ministers sat on a dharna at CBI’s Kolkata office while her agitated party supporters besieged the premises, the central probe agency has named her and two of her loyalists as parties in Narada scam hearing in the Calcutta High Court scheduled to be held at 2 pm today.
According to Times Now, CBI named WB CM and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee and WB Law Minister Maloy Ghatak as parties, alleging that these respondents are very influential persons and they might influence or threaten the witnesses and the system.
BREAKING: #CBI now adds CM #MamataBanerjee, Kalyan Banerjee & Law Minister Maloy Ghatak as parties.— Sreyashi Dey (@SreyashiDey) May 19, 2021
Appeals #NaradaScam matter be transferred to the HC. Matter to be heard at 2PM today by Chief Justice (acting) division bench. pic.twitter.com/GnTcUm2y4x
Mamata Banerjee’s conduct an attempt to put pressure: SG Tushar Mehta in Calcutta HC
Opining that the aforementioned conduct of the WB CM and her ministers pose a threat to the CBI investigation into the Narada Scam in which the agency has arrested a few top TMC leaders, SC Tushar Mehta made Mamata Banerjee and her ministers parties in the hearing.
Yesterday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued in HC that the incident of lawlessness carried out unabashedly by TMC supporters and minister outside and inside the CBI office premises was an attempt to put pressure on the system of administration of justice. He was referring to the 6-hour dharna staged by the WB CM outside the CBI office and the presence of Law Minister Moloy Ghatak in the trial court.
Maintaining that this reflects a total failure of rule of law, he sought the transfer of the trial of the case as per the provisions of Section 407 of the CrPC.
Calcutta High Court comes down heavily on the conduct of Mamata Banerjee
On May 18, the Calcutta High Court had taken serious exception to the conduct of the TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee where she herself sat on a dharna while organising a brute show of force by riotous mobs outside the Nizam Palace (which houses the CBI office) and the Raj Bhawan.
It took note of submissions made by Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, that while inside the CBI office, the Chief Minister demanded the ‘unconditional release’ of the four arrested.
The court also took exception to the fact that the West Bengal law minister Moloy Ghatak along with many Trinamool supporters, mobbed the lower court where the four arrested TMC leaders were to be produced. The law minister remained present in the court till the arguments by the counsels on behalf of the CBI and the arrested were heard.
The High Court concluded that any order passed by a court under such circumstances “will not have the faith and confidence of the people in the system of administration of justice”.
Saying so the bench comprising Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Arijit Banerjee stayed the bail and remanded Ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, TMC MLA Madan Mitra and ex-legislator Sovan Chatterjee to judicial custody till May 19.
Mamata Banerjee sits on dharna for accused TMC leaders in Narada scam
For the uninitiated, on May 17, hours after Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Mamata Banerjee’s ministers Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee and Trinamool Congress MLA Madan Mitra in the Narada case, the West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee gheraoed the CBI office in Kolkata’s Nizam Palace.
While Mamata Banerjee staged a sit-in outside the 15th floor CBI office, a large number of TMC supporters who protested outside the CBI office over the arrest of its leaders reportedly pelted stones on security forces, tried to break barricades and attacked the media vehicles as well.
After the purported incident, the TMC leaders arrested by CBI in the five-year-old Narada sting operation case had been granted interim bail by the court of the Special CBI Judge (1) which was later stayed by the Calcutta High Court.