Observing that the conduct of people holding high public offices should be “beyond reproach”, the Calcutta High Court on Friday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct preliminary inquiries in the Narada News sting operation where several Trinamool Congress leaders were seen allegedly accepting cash on camera.The order by the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty directed the CBI to conduct preliminary investigation in 72 hours, and depending on the result of the inquiry, the CBI shall forthwith register an FIR, in respect of the alleged crimes.
“The CBI must act promptly since persons with doubtful integrity and who commit crimes affecting society at large, must be brought to the book swiftly,” Justice Mhatre said in the order.The Court also directed the CBI to take custody of the devices and the CFSL reports, which are maintained in the bank locker, within 24 hours.Describing the High Court order as “unfortunate”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said her party and government “will go to the higher court for justice”.“It was planned. It was planted. The sting was published from the BJP office at the time of Assembly elections,” Ms. Banerjee told journalists at the State Secretariat, Nabanna.
Raising allegations against the BJP, Ms. Banerjee said State BJP president Dilip Ghosh had said after the Assembly elections in U.P. that a CBI probe would be ordered into the Narada videos. “How did the BJP president know [of a CBI probe] before the order was even passed?’ Ms Banerjee asked.
In the 58-page order, Justice Mhatre has come down strongly on the State police, describing it as “puppets on a string”.“The State police are at best, unfortunately, puppets on a string, the end of which is with the respondents,” the order said, adding that the CBI was the most suitable agency for conducting an independent probe into the matter.