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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Poison Dart From A Sting

High Court, Governor, CBI, a handful of ministers…a few notable ones exonerated by politics because they are on the other side. The Narada scam rolls on like a train wreck.

Poison Dart From A Sting
Photograph by Sandipan Chatterjee
Poison Dart From A Sting
outlookindia.com
2021-05-28T15:42:51+05:30

The  hearing in Calcutta High Court on May 19 regarding the arrests of West Bengal ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, MLA Madan Mitra and former minister Sovan Chatterjee by the CBI, in connection with the Narada sting operation that had allegedly exposed a cash-for-favours scam in 2014, remained inconclusive. The high court had earlier stayed the bail granted to the accused by a special CBI court. All four were ministers in CM Mamata Banerjee’s first cabinet. The CBI has also filed a transfer petition to move the matter out of West Bengal, and made Mamata, Bengal law minister Moloy Ghatak and TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee party to the case. The TMC has accused the central agency of playing the role of “caged parrots” serving their “political masters in the Union cabinet”. Meanwhile, the Calcutta police have filed a case against CBI personnel under the Disaster Management Act for violating pandemic-related restrictions during the arrests.

Following the arrests on May 17, Mamata rushed to the central agency’s Calcutta office and told the officers that what they did was illegal. She also claimed that the governor’s approval to the CBI for proceeding against the accused was illegal. “The high court had asked the CBI if they sought the speaker’s approval,” Bengal assembly speaker Biman Banerjee tells Outlook. “We told the court we received no application from the CBI. The governor’s approval, when the speaker was still in his chair, is unethical and legally untenable.” However, according to Rajya Sabha MP Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya of the CPI(M), who is also a lawyer, there was nothing wrong in the approval as it was given when the new government was yet to be formed. “The accused and the state government had earlier approached the Supreme Court against a CBI...

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