The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday said it would pass an order next Friday on sending the Narada recordings and the device with which it was made for forensic test to ascertain the genuineness of the videos purportedly showing Trinamool Congress MPs and ministers taking money.
Observing that the genuineness of the recordings are to be first derived at, a division bench of chief justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A Banerjee said that an order would be passed on sending the pendrive and a mobile phone allegedly used for recording the purported financial transactions for forensic analysis on Friday.
Appearing for the petitioner in a PIL, counsel Bikash Bhattacharya prayed that the recordings be sent for forensic examination to prove their authenticity following which an investigation be ordered by an independent agency. Appearing for the West Bengal government, advocate general Jayanta Mitra submitted that the state was also concerned about the truth.
Mitra, however, questioned as to why Narada News editor in-chief Mathew Samuel had refused to come down to Kolkata to hand over the recordings and the device to the court citing personal security concerns, while he came over to the city and held a press conference a few days after it was secured from him by a court-appointed committee.
He also questioned why Samuel had chosen the time of the state Assembly election to come up with the disclosures though the recordings had been allegedly done earlier since 2014.
The chief justice observed that it was in the interest of all parties that the common man know what the truth was-whether the recordings were genuine or not. The court said that if found genuine, an investigation would be necessitated and if these are found not to be genuine, then also a different inquiry would have to be initiated.
Appearing for one of the leaders shown in the alleged recordings that Narada had released, counsel Kalyan Banerjee submitted that mobile recordings were not admissible in court as per the Evidence Act.
Kishore Dutta, counsel for IPS officer SMH Mirza who was also purportedly seen in the recordings accepting cash, submitted that the recordings were allegedly done with an iPhone 6 device.
The recordings from the mobile phone set were transferred to a laptop from which it was stored in a pendrive, he submitted, adding that while the mobile phone and the pendrive were handed over to the threemember committee, Samuel did not hand over the laptop, which he claimed also needed to be examined.