CBI Probe Ordered In Narada Sting, Cops Acted Like 'Puppets', Says Court

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CBI Probe Ordered In Narada Sting, Cops Acted Like 'Puppets', Says Court

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Narada sting operation that allegedly showed some Trinamool Congress leaders accepting bribes.

Kolkata: 

Highlights

  1. Calcutta High Court slams police, orders CBI probe in Narada sting
  2. Sting by Narada News had alleged network of corruption in Bengal
  3. Will fight this politically, legally, says Mamata, backs Kolkata Police
The Narada sting operation that allegedly showed some Trinamool Congress leaders accepting bribes will be probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Calcutta High Court ordered on Friday.

The court observed that the Kolkata police - that had been probing the case - was at best, "puppets of the State".

But West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee - who declared the party would move the Supreme Court against the verdict - gave the police a quick pat on the back. "Kolkata Police is the best police force in the world," the Chief Minister said.

"We will have to fight this politically and legally. We will appeal against this in the Supreme Court. We handed over investigation to Kolkata Police but High Court did not allow us to investigate," Ms Banerjee told NDTV.

The court has ordered the CBI to pick up the case details from the court within 24 hours and get the preliminary inquiry started within 72 hours. The government has also been ordered to act against SMH Meerza, the senior police officer who allegedly figured in the video tapes.

Counsel for Trinamool leaders including state ministers Sovan Chatterjee, Subrata Mukherjee, Suvendu Adhikari and parliamentarians Kakali Ghosh Dastidar, Sultan Ahmed and former minister Madan Mitra had vehemently opposed the CBI probe, a Press Trust of India report said.

Narada News had alleged it had many ministers and lawmakers accepting bribe that ranges from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh for favours to a fictitious company, Impex Consultancy.

Since some of the charges related to parliamentarians, the Lok Sabha had also referred the charges to its ethics panel.

Chief Minister and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee had called the secretly-recorded video tapes a political conspiracy against her. But after she returned to power, Ms Banerjee agreed to probe the sting operation by the state police and contested the petition in the high court against transferring the case to the CBI. But the police also registered a case for forgery against Mathew Samuel of Narada News who had made the sting tapes public.

In its decision on Friday, the high court's bench comprising acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborti noted that the Central Forensic Science Laboratory report made it clear that the tapes had not been tampered with.

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