Kolkata: Mayor Sovan Chatterjee will not appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday, in connection with the Narada sting probe case.
The mayor’s counsel has asked for one month’s time till the monsoons are over, as Chatterjee has to monitor the control room twenty-four seven during the monsoon and thus cannot remain absent from office.
Earlier, Chatterjee was summoned by the ED. His counsel stated that Chatterjee would not be able to appear before the ED officers as he has prior commitments and thus has asked for more time.
On June 28, Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Kolkata in connection with the case.
The ED filed its case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after the CBI filed its case.
The sting operation pertains to the secret filming of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders and an IPS officer while they were allegedly accepting money from representatives of a fictitious company in return for extending favours to it.
TMC leaders against whom the CBI has registered cases, now also booked by the Enforcement Directorate, include Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy, Lok Sabha MPs Saugata Roy, Aparupa Poddar, Sultan Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar.
West Bengal ministers, including Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari, Environment Minister Sovan Chatterjee, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee have also been named in the FIR.
Former Minister Madan Mitra, MLA Iqbal Ahmed and IPS officer Saiyaad Mustafa Hussain Mirza have also been made accused in the case.
Samuel had earlier released three sets of videos of the sting operation, where top TMC leaders were allegedly seen accepting bribes from journalists posing as businessmen.
The ruling party had dismissed the allegation citing that the tapes are ‘doctored’.
The sting operation video was released by the portal on March 14, 2016, just ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections.