Despite All India Congress Committee asking senior advocate and former Union minister Kapil Sibal to return the brief to the West Bengal government, it appears he will fight the case, said a legal adviser to Trinamool all-India general secretary Mukul Roy.
“We spoke to Sibal today (Saturday) and it was clear that he will appear on our behalf. Two petitions were filed — one by the state gover nment and the other by Mohua Maitra. Sibal will fight both,” said the person who was with Roy during his trip to the capital. Sibal, however, did not respond to Hindustan Times’s text messages.
On January 21, Congress leaders remarked in Delhi that the party has asked Sibal to give importance to the sentiments of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC). WBPCC president Adhir Chowdhury wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi expressing strong reservations about Sibal taking up the brief of the Mamata Banerjee administration.
The state government pleaded for a court-monitored investigation, as it alleged that CBI is carrying out political vendetta, prompted by the Centre’s ruling party. The argument of state Congress was that since they are campaigning against the involvement of Trinamool leaders in the Saradha scam, their stand will be questioned by the people if they seen a former minister of the party defending the Mamata administration in court.
On the other hand, on Saturday Trinamool sources told HT that Roy may seek more time from CBI for his appearance if the case filed by him is not heard on January 27. Earlier, Roy told the media that he was available for interrogation after January 28.
In one of the petitions filed in the apex court, it has been argued that although CPI(M) and Congress leaders also benefited from the Saradha Group but they are not being investigated at all. According to sources, quite a few evidences of their involvement in the case as beneficiaries were furnished with the petition.
“Surya Kanta Mishra, former health minister of the state, issued a letter wishing the group’s success. We have enclosed the letter with the petition. The letter is important because Madan Mitra had also praised the Saradha group in a public function and for which he was sent to jail,” said the source.
In the petition it was alleged that CBI is acting at the behest of the BJP. The CBI is targeting only the Trinamool Congress leaders only and that too under the instruction of senior BJP leaders.
“How did the BJP leaders come to know whom CBI was going to summon much before the person himself knew it? We have seen it during the arrest of Srinjoy Bose and Madan Mitra. BJP’s Sidharth Nath Singh had announced that they would be summoned and arrested prior to issuing notice to them,” the source said.
The petition also mentioned that the two Bengali dailies published from Kolkata got huge advertisement from Saradha Group.
“These two Bengali dailies were also the beneficiaries of the Saradha group and they should be brought under the ambit of investigation,” the source added.
The petition also questioned the validity of the arrest of Srinjay Bose and Madan Mitra. The CBI summoned Bose and Mitra by sending notice under section 160 of the CrPC. Trinamool leaders have earlier alleged that while the notice was served to appear before CBI as witness, the agency arrested them. This is clear violation of the 160 CrPC.
None could even approach the court asking for anticipatory bail after receiving summons under 160 CrPC.