Kolkata: The state government is set to challenge the High Court’s verdict on the Narada sting operation on Monday in the Supreme Court. The Trinamool Congress Party will also appear at the apex court.
As per sources, former solicitor general Gopal Subhramaniyam can fight for the state. The opposition’s accusations could be fought upon by lawyer Kapil Sibbal. The persons who had filed cases would also go to the court.
A division bench of the Calcutta high court on Friday ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to immediately launch a probe against a raft of Trinamool Congress leaders from West Bengal, who were seen “receiving illegal gratification” in the form of cash in video footage released a year ago by Naradanews.com, a news portal.
After Mamata Banerjee was re-elected as the state’s chief minister last year, she ordered a probe into Narada News’ sting operation, but justice Nishita Mhatre said in her verdict that it was beyond reason to expect the state police to conduct an impartial probe. In her view, cognizable offences of serious nature had been committed by people in “high public offices”, Mhatre wrote in her order.
“It is very difficult to believe that a fair or impartial…investigation will be conducted by the state police against their masters in government or their own high-ranked officer,” she said in her judgement. Among those seen in Narada News’ footage receiving cash is a police officer of the rank of superintendent.
Rejecting a prayer for keeping the verdict on hold until it was challenged in the Supreme Court, Mhatre and justice Tapabrata Chakraborty asked CBI to conclude a preliminary inquiry within four days and start a case against 12 persons featured in the controversial footage. These included cabinet ministers in the state.