3 Trinamool MLAs, former leader arrested by CBI in Narada scam case get bail

While granting interim bail the court relied upon the recent judgment of the Supreme Court which urged decongestion of prisons to avoid the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases. The court, however, asked the four accused to furnish personal bail bonds of 50,000 each.
TMC activists shout slogans as they protest outside the CBI office in Nizam Palace, Kolkata, over the arrest of party leaders in connection with the Narada scam case on Monday, May 17. (PTI)
TMC activists shout slogans as they protest outside the CBI office in Nizam Palace, Kolkata, over the arrest of party leaders in connection with the Narada scam case on Monday, May 17. (PTI)
Updated on May 17, 2021 08:25 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Avik Roy, New Delhi

A special court on Monday granted interim bail to two sitting ministers of Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government, another senior MLA and a former Kolkata mayor who were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths earlier in the day.

On Monday, CBI detained the three Trinamool Congress leaders -- Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra -- and former Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee in connection with the 2014 Narada sting operation case and took them to Nizam Palace, the regional headquarters of the central probe agency in Kolkata.

ALSO READ: ‘Arrest me’: Mamata Banerjee tells CBI after 4 held in Narada sting operation case

They were virtually produced before the special court of Justice Anupam Mukherjee, who granted them bail on grounds that the CBI had not sought custody of the four accused for interrogation but prayer was for judicial custody which cannot be aground for detention of the arrested persons. The CBI had sought 14-day judicial custody for the accused ministers.

While granting interim bail the court relied upon the recent judgment of the Supreme Court which urged decongestion of prisons to avoid the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases. The court, however, asked the four accused to furnish personal bail bonds of 50,000 each.

The CBI said they move the Calcutta high court against the decision of the lower court.

While Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee are sitting ministers in the state cabinet Madan Mitra is an elected MLA. Hakim is also the chairman of the board of administrators of Kolkata municipal corporation.

Following the arrest, chief minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to the CBI’s office at Nizam Palace in south Kolkata. “Mamata told the CBI officials that she should also be arrested,” said a TMC leader, aware of the development.

WATCH: CBI arrests Firhad Hakim, two other TMC MLAs in Narada case, protests break out

Last week, Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had accorded prosecution sanction to the CBI against the three ministers and the former TMC leader.

The case pertains to a sting operation by journalist Mathew Samuel in 2014, where he posed as a businessman and offered between 4 and 5 lakh to the then TMC Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy, the then Lok Sabha MPs Saugata Roy, Aparupa Poddar, Sultan Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar; the then ministers Firhad Hakim, Suvendu Adhikari, Sovan Chatterjee (who was also the Kolkata mayor) Subrata Mukherjee and Madan Mitra.

In the video, that surfaced two years later in March 2016, shortly before the assembly elections in the state, the leaders were purportedly seen accepting cash from the representative of a fictitious company in exchange for doling out favours to them.

The then MLA Iqbal Ahmed and IPS officer Saiyaad Mustafa Hussain Mirza were also caught on camera. Among these people, Mukul Roy could not been seen in the videos accepting the cash directly but the money was purportedly taken by Mirza, according to Mathew.

Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, meanwhile. Sovan Chatterjee also joined the BJP prior to the assembly polls but left the party following differences with the leadership.

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Monday, November 29, 2021