In a major setback to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Supreme Court has said that the Narada sting case will be probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The CBI had registered a preliminary inquiry in connection with the Narada sting tapes in which several Trinamool Congress members allegedly caught on camera taking money.The preliminary inquiry (PE) has been registered following the directions of a division bench of the Calcutta HC, comprising of acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborti.
Time for registration of FIR has been extended to one month.
SC assured that the inferences and opinion of the HC in the order would not influence the CBI probe.SC also rejected the plea of TMC leaders Suvendu Adhikari and Saugata Roy for SIT probe monitored either by apex court or HC.
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The bench, on March 17, had directed the CBI to register the PE and submit its report before the court. According to the sources, if enough evidence is found in the initial investigation, an FIR will be registered and raids will be conducted at premises of those involved.
The news website Narada News had alleged a huge corruption scandal a year ago, reporting that Trinamool leaders - majority elected lawmakers - were caught on camera taking wads of cash from a man posing as the owner of a company, apparently seeking favours from the Mamata Banerjee government.
The top court said it finds no merit in the petitions filed by accused persons to interfere in the high court order directing CBI inquiry into the sting operation.
A committee, set by the high court, had taken possession of all the devices. "But the CBI will do so if the court asked for it", a senior official of the central probe agency told PTI.