Two days after the naradanews.com sting showed 11 Trinamool MPs and leaders accepting bribe to favour a company, three public interest litigations (PILs) were filed in the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday praying for a probe into the scam by the CBI and debarring those seen accepting cash from contesting the polls.
One of the PILs filed by the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee also made the Election Commission a party.
On Monday naradanews.com, a web portal, aired a sting operation where 11 senior MPs, minister and MLAs and a police officer were seen taking bribes from a fictitious company. The leaders include MPs such as Mukul Roy, Sultan Ahmed, Sougata Roy, Suvendu Adhikari, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and ministers Subrata Mukherjee (panchayat), Firhad Hakim (urban development) and Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee.
The three PILs were filed by Congress leader Amitava Chakraborty, BJP leader Brajesh Jha and advocate Akshay Sarengi. All the petitioners expect that their pleas will be admitted and will come up for hearing on Friday.
Incidentally, the decision of the Supreme Court to hand over the Saradha chit fund investigation to the CBI was the culmination of a litigation process that begun with veteran state Congress leader Abdul Mannan filing a PIL in the Calcutta High Court.
“Elected representatives, assembly election candidates and ministers were seen taking bribes. We thought that the state government, or the police, will file an FIR. On the contrary they are trying to hush it up. Therefore, we have appealed for a CBI investigation,” said Amitava Chakraborty, state Congress general-secretary. “We have also made ECI a party to the petition. We want the poll panel to bar those seen taking bribes from contesting the polls,” added Chakraborty.
Brajesh Jha, a local BJP leader, wanted the court to direct the Enforcement Directorate to investigate into the matter.
“We want ED to take up the probe along with the CBI. We are planning to mention the PIL tomorrow, and hope it will be heard by the bench of the chief justice on Friday. The entire country saw the shameful event on television,” said Brajesh Jha.
Advocate Partha Ghosh, who filed the PIL on behalf of Jha said, “We are hopeful of a favorable direction or decision from the court in this matter.” On another front, protests continued on the streets of Kolkata and districts on the narada. com sting. At a public rally in North Bengal, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the opposition is indulging in her character assassination.