Calcutta High Court on Tuesday asked web portal naradanews.com to submit raw footage of the sting operation carried out by it showing Trinamool Congress ministers, MPs and leaders allegedly accepting bribes for favouring a fictitious firm floated by it.
A division bench of the high court comprising chief justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Arijit Banerjee was hearing a clutch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) filed by the Congress, BJP and an independent advocate praying for a CBI probe into the scandal. The court asked the web portal authorities to file an affidavit regarding the sting operation and details of the company that owned naradanews.com by April 5. The next date of hearing has been fixed for April 8.
Narada’s sting operation was posted online on March 14 in which 11 Trinamool Congress leaders, including ministers, MPs and MLAs, were shown accepting cash from a fictitious company called Impex. This was followed by another video featuring one MP and a youth leader of the party. The first video featured MPs Prasun Banerjee, Saugata Roy, Mukul Roy, Subhendu Adhikari, Sultan Ahmed, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee, ministers Firhad Hakim, Madan Mitra and Subrata Mukherjee.
A senior police officer was also seen accepting cash allegedly on behalf of Mukul Roy.
On March 21, the second footage was posted online showing Trinamool Congress youth leader Shankudeb Panda demanding stake in a TV company. The video also showed party MP Aparupa Poddar with wads of notes. Party MP Kalyan Banerjee, appearing for the TMC, claimed that the footage was doctored, posted with the sole motive of maligning the TMC on the eve of the assembly poll. He also urged the court to defer the hearing.