The Calcutta HC has granted interim bail to all four TMC leaders accused in the Narad sting case. As per latest reports, Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra and Sovan Chatterjee have all been granted interim bail.
All four political leaders have been asked by the HC to submit personal bonds of Rs 2 lakh each with two sureties. They have been asked to join the investigation via video conferencing. In addition, they have been forbidden from giving press statements regarding the ongoing investigation, as per an ANI report.
Calcutta High Court has asked them to submit personal bond of Rs 2 lakh each with two sureties. They will join the investigation by video conferencing. They will not give press interviews on pending trial on the Narada case.— ANI (@ANI) May 28, 2021
On May 17, the CBI had confirmed that the four TMC leaders, including two ministers, have been arrested in the Narad sting case. The arrests had sparked a political drama in the state, with CM Mamata Banerjee reaching CBI offices in Kolkata and daring them to arrest her too.
Following much political drama and ruckus by TMC workers where they had gheraoed the CBI office, a CBI Special Court had granted them interim bail, following which the CBI had moved to the HC contesting the order.
Later, a division bench of the HC had stayed the bail order and had ordered the 4 leaders to be kept under ‘house arrest’.
The CBI is also appealing for the transfer of the case to the HC. That matter is scheduled to be heard later today. Arguing on behalf of the CBI on Thursday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had pleaded before a five-judge bench of the HC that the Special CBI Court had come under the Bengal government’s pressure. The 5-judge bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justices I P Mukerji, Soumen Sen, Arijit Banerjee, and Harish Tandon.
As per an Indian Express report, the CBI had opposed the granting of interim bail, saying, “If this mobocracy is not checked by the constitutional court, tomorrow we may have a situation where a gangster gets arrested and his henchmen gherao the CBI office.”
The Narada sting case
Narada news founder Samuel Mathew had reportedly conducted a sting operation for over two years. Just ahead of 2016 West Bengal state assembly elections, Narada news released the sting operation videos showing 13 TMC ministers and leaders accepting bribes in return of favours or misusing official positions before the elections creating ripples in the political landscape of West Bengal.
As part of this operation, Samuel had floated a fictitious company to approach several TMC ministers, for favours in return for money.
Firhad Hakim, Mukul Roy (now with the BJP), Saugata Roy, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Sultan Ahmed, Subrata Mukherjee, Suvendu Adhikari (now with the BJP), Sovan Chatterjee (who joined the BJP and then quit), Aparupa Poddar, Madan Mitra, Iqbal Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee and HMS Mirza were the ones who were seen on the scam tape.