External probe has no bearing on Narada PILs: Calcutta HC

Kolkata, June 20 (IANS) The Calcutta High Court on Monday said the probe ordered by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee into the Narada sting controversy will not have any bearing on the multiple public interest litigations (PIL) pending before it on the matter.

Claiming the Banerjee ordered probe tantamount to interference with the judicial process, Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, one of the counsel in the PILs, drew it to the attention of the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur which is hearing the petitions.

“The probe is an interference with the judicial process as well as contempt of court so I drew the court’s attention to it. The Chief Justice said the matter is sub-judice and what one is saying about it outside is immaterial. The court alone will decide the matter,” said Bhattacharya.

The court also directed the government pleader to furnish details of the probe by June 24.

Carried out by a portal – Narada News – the sting caught on camera over a dozen Trinamool Congress leaders including former union ministers, state cabinet heavyweights and MPs accepting money as “bribes” in return for allegedly doling out favours to a fictitious company.

Following Banerjee’s June 17 direction of the probe, the city police initiated case under several offences including defamation against Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel.

The court on April 29 had ordered forensic examinations of the tapes as well as recording devices by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory Hyderabad. The report is awaited.



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