Kolkata: Unedited footage of Narada News sting operation, being examined by the CBI team, has now thrown up name Trinamool Congress MP KD Singh.
While a special CBI team is going through the entire 400-minute raw footage before the compliance report is submitted with the Calcutta high court, the Mamata Banerjee government is likely to move the Supreme Court on Monday challenging the HC order.
In Delhi, a four-member CBI team searched Narada News boss Mathew Samuel’s Dwarka home on Sunday morning. Apart from CPUs and video editing machines the officials also seized electronic gadgets used in the sting operation. Back in Kolkata, the special team held a meeting with agency officers in Delhi over video-conference to chart out the future course of action.
An eight-member team of CBI officials of the anti-corruption branch worked through the entire Saturday night, examining the video clips containing footage of some Trinamool heavyweights and an IPS officer allegedly accepting cash. While some portions of the footage were aired on television, there are clips that were not.
According to sources, one such clip contains a conversation with an MP who has allegedly taken cash to hand it over to another MP (who already being probed for his role in the Ponzi muddle). The video footage shows an MP accepting money promising to give it to another MP who could not be reached by Narada News at that time. There are also conversations about how another MP, close to TMC’s power corridors, had allegedly been mopping up donations for the party fund. “We are trying to go through the entire footage as early as possible. The mandate is to file a compliance report with the Calcutta HC by Wednesday,” said a CBI official. The team led by an additional SP-rank officer also spoke to Amitava Chakraborty of Congress, who has filed a PIL over the Narada sting tapes.
Meanwhile, the state has been seeking legal opinion from top lawyers in the country. Immediately after Mamata said the government will move the SC, party leaders got in touch with lawyers. Pre-empting a move by the state, Samuel has also got in touch with advocate Prashant Bhushan.
Samuel on Sunday sent his reply to the 12-point CBI questionnaire. According to sources, the agency is primarily looking into how the operation was funded and how he conducted the entire exercise. “The entire funding was done by Tehelka owner K D Singh, who was managing the company I was then working for. We had spent a total of Rs 80 lakh while making payments to political leaders and officials,” said the Narada News CEO.