Kolkata: TMC MP Aparupa Poddar on Thursday claimed before the Calcutta High Court that Narada News chief Mathew Samuel has misrepresented facts about the device and dates of recordings that purportedly show her and other party leaders receiving money.
Poddar, represented by counsel Sidharth Luthra, submitted that some of the recordings were claimed to have been done between March 2013 and May 2013, even as the iPhone device that Samuel produced before a court-appointed committee, was of July 2013 make.
Luthra told the bench of Justice Joymalyo Bagchi that Samuel had claimed to have used an iPhone of January 2013 makes, but it was of July 2013 make. Questioning the authenticity of the device, Luthra claimed the device produced had been formated and the hard disc partitioned thereafter.
The sting was done by the naradanews.com’s editor Mathew Samuel, who claimed to have used an iPhone for the purpose. The contents had then been transferred to a laptop and stored in a pen drive.
On an order by the Calcutta High Court, the Chandigarh- based Central Forensic Science Laboratory had examined the authenticity of the recordings in 2016 and reported that there was continuity in the recordings and there was no evidence of tampering with the recordings of the video files which it could open.
The CFSL had stated in its report that it could open 47 out of 73 movie files provided in the pen drive. Aparupa Poddar, a first-time TMC MP elected in 2014, has prayed for quashing of the FIR lodged against her by the CBI in the Narada case.
The high court had ordered the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the matter. The order was challenged by the West Bengal government in the Supreme Court, which refused to grant relief and gave the CBI one month to conclude the preliminary probe and file an FIR, if required.
The CBI has booked 12 top TMC leaders, including MPs and ministers, and an IPS officer in connection with the sting case. The FIR has been registered under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with bribery and criminal misconduct. The maximum sentence for these crimes ranges from five to seven years of imprisonment.