Narada case: Supreme Court asks Bengal CM, law minister to file fresh pleas at Calcutta high court
The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Calcutta high court order denying permission to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the state's law minister Moloy Ghatak to submit their reply affidavits in connection with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)'s plea for transfer of the Narada sting operation case. The top court allowed the chief minister and the state cabinet minister to file fresh applications before the Calcutta high court by Monday, said people familiar with the development. Seeking permission to file affidavits in the case will now be considered de novo, the top court ruled.
The top court was hearing three appeals including that of the state government challenging the high court's denial for filing of affidavits by Banerjee and Ghatak in their role on the day of the arrest of four Trinamool Congress leaders on May 17 by CBI in the Narada scam case.
A vacation bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari urged the 5-judge bench of the Calcutta high court, headed by acting chief justice Rajesh Bindal, to decide afresh the pleas of Banerjee, Ghatak, and the state government before deciding on the CBI petition seeking transfer of the scam case to the high court itself.
The said application shall contain reasons for not filing the affidavit all this while even though hearing in the case had begun back on May 27.
The Supreme Court asked the Calcutta high court to first decide the application and then proceed with the merits of the case. The CBI will be served an advance copy of the application on Sunday, which will be taken up in the high court on Tuesday.
It has been alleged that the state ruling party leaders played a key role in stopping the CBI from performing its legal duty after the arrest of four leaders in the case.
West Bengal ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim, Trinamool Congress MLA Madan Mitra, and former mayor of Kolkata Sovan Chatterjee were arrested by the CBI which is investigating the Narada sting tape case on a 2017 order of the high court.
(With inputs from PTI)