Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Business | By Sandy Mccarthy

Mamata to approach 'higher judiciary' on Narada sting operation

Mamata to approach 'higher judiciary' on Narada sting operation

In a jolt to West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress, the Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered a CBI preliminary inquiry into the Narada sting footage case, wherein prominent TMC leaders were seen taking currency notes. When asked about the Calcutta High Court order today, she said, "I will not comment on this, we'll approach higher judiciary".

In its decision on Friday, the high court's bench comprising acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborti noted that the Central Forensic Science Laboratory report made it clear that the tapes had not been tampered with. Meanwhile, the Opposition parties in West Bengal seized upon the judgement and demanded immediate removal of "tainted" ministers from the State Cabinet.

Web portal Narada News had released a sting operation conducted on 11 Trinamool Congress leaders which showed them allegedly accepting bribe.

The court also directed the CBI to register an FIR, if required, after completion of the preliminary enquiry and initaite formal investigation thereafter.

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From the beginning, TMC leadership has claimed that the sting footage was doctored and a conspiracy of oppositions.

"The CBI must act promptly since persons with doubtful integrity, and who commit crimes affecting society at large, must be brought to book swiftly", the court said in its 58-page judgment on three public interest litigations that sought inquiry by an independent agency. CPI (M) state secretary Surjyakanta Mishra tweeted: "We welcome the high court verdict to conduct CBI inquiry on the #NaradaString. It must be only a few lakhs taken as donation during the polls".

Defending her ministers, Mamata alleged that BJP is behind the sting operation, she said: "Everyone knows that the sting was published from BJP office". "Kolkata Police is the best police force in the world", the Chief Minister said. Narada News, led by its editor-in-chief Matthew Samuel, had earlier published three sets of videotapes of its sting operation. "The TMC will fight the order both politically and legally".

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