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Sunday, November 28, 2021

CBI challenges ‘house arrest’ of Trinamool bigwigs in SC

The CBI has moved the Supreme Court challenging a Calcutta High Court order allowing the house arrest of Trinamool Congress’ four heavyweights in the Narada bribery case.

The CBI wants Monday’s High Court hearing cancelled. A five-judge bench is scheduled to hear the politicians’ bail plea.

The matter was referred to the five-judge bench after the two judges of the High Court division bench differed with each other. The top court is likely to take up the matter any time in the day. The hearing scheduled is scheduled at 11 a.m. in the High Court.

The acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on Friday had constituted a five-member bench to hear the interim bail plea of four Trinamool Congress heavyweights in West Bengal, who were arrested on Monday by the CBI in the Narada sting operation case.

The state has been witnessing high drama since last week, after CBI arrested two Trinamool Congress ministers — Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee – along with present MLA Madan Mitra and former Kolkata Corporation Mayor Sovon Chatterjee in connection with the Narada sting tapes cases, in which several politicians and a high-ranked police officer were allegedly found accepting cash for providing unofficial favours to a fictitious company.

On Friday the High Court denied interim bail for all four.

In an order issued by the court on Friday, it was said that a five-member bench has been constituted that includes acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, and justices I.P. Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Arijit Banerjee.

The larger bench was formed after the division bench comprising Bindal and Banerjee had a difference of opinion on the judgement pertaining to the interim bail to the heavyweight leaders.

The court also declined to entertain a CBI request seeking to stay its order – which allowed the four to leave jail. The agency said the politicians are influential leaders and could threaten witnesses, and it also wanted to shift all the proceedings out of the state.

A CBI special court granted bail to the four, which was later put on hold when the agency sought the transfer of the case to the High Court.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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