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A Timeline of Narada Bribery Case: 4 TMC Affiliates Arrested

Banerjee’s spokesperson, lawyer Anindyo Raut said, “These arrests are politically motivated and illegal.”

Published
Politics
3 min read
CBI arrested Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra and Sovan Chatterjee in the Narada case on Monday.  
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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday, after arresting four Trinamool Congress affiliates in connection with the Narada bribery case, took ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, Trinamool Congress MLA Madan Mitra and ex-Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee to prison late on Monday, 17 May.

Just hours after the four were taken to the Presidency Correctional Home, two of them – Mitra and Chatterjee – were rushed to the hospital around 4 am after they complained of breathlessness. The four accused had been granted bail by a CBI court, but it was later stayed by the Calcutta High Court.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee staged a sit-in protest protest after the arrests at the CBI office on Monday morning and spent over six hours there. In response, West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Dilip Ghosh lodged an FIR against Banerjee, for mounting pressure on the investigating agemcy.

The arrest came days after Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar gave his consent to the CBI for filing a charge sheet against the four accused and sanctioned prosecution against them on 9 May.

Here’s an overview of the case, the sting operation and the recent arrests.

A Timeline of Narada Bribery Case: 4 TMC Affiliates Arrested

  1. 1. What Is the Case About?

    In 2016, editor and managing director of Narada News portal Mathew Samuel, just before the West Bengal Assembly elections, broadcast a sting video, in which several TMC leaders were allegedly seen taking money on camera.

    The purported video footage of the sting operation surfaced before the 2016 Assembly polls.

    The CBI lodged an FIR in April 2017 following a court order, naming 12 top TMC leaders, including MPs and West Bengal ministers, and an IPS officer.

    In its FIR, the agency said suspected public servants were shown to have either accepted money in cash given by Samuel posing as a representative of a Chennai-based company, or asked him to hand over the money to someone else on their behalf were identified.

    An FIR was lodged for alleged criminal conspiracy under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which deals with bribery and criminal misconduct.

    The Enforcement Directorate also started a parallel investigation and lodged a case of misappropriation of public funds under the Anti Corruption Act.

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  2. 2. You Cannot Cherry-Pick Whom You Arrest: Mathew Samuel

    Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari, who were among the Trinamool leaders allegedly caught taking bribes, have since joined the BJP. They are now BJP MLAs after contesting in the state elections.

    Banerjee’s spokesperson lawyer Anindyo Raut said, “These arrests are politically motivated and illegal. Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy have been let off though they face the same charges,” Raut quoted the CM as saying, according to IANS.

    Samuel, who did the Narada sting operation, in an interview to Outlook said that the arrests showed some progress in the “long wait for justice” but expressed his shock at the CBI’s failure to proceed against Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari “because the evidence against them is pretty much the same as the evidence against those who had been arrested”.

    Samuel added, “I met Suvendu Adhikari at his office and gave him Rs 5 lakh. This tape was also submitted to the CBI and forensically verified to be correct. Why the names of Roy and Adhikari do not appear in the charge sheet or the list of sanctions for prosecution given by the Governor is a mystery to me. Frankly, it is shocking because you cannot cherry-pick whom you arrest, based on the same evidence.”
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  3. 3. What Is TMC's Stand on the Case?

    The TMC maintained that the Centre was using agencies to pursue political vendetta against the Opposition leaders. They also pointed out how the Governor had not permitted to prosecute Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari.

    The fact that the arrests came just weeks after the TMC decisively won over the BJP in the recently concluded Assembly polls also raised questions.

    Reacting to the arrests, TMC leader Mahua Moitra tweeted:

    (With inputs from Outlook)

    (The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

    Expand

What Is the Case About?

In 2016, editor and managing director of Narada News portal Mathew Samuel, just before the West Bengal Assembly elections, broadcast a sting video, in which several TMC leaders were allegedly seen taking money on camera.

The purported video footage of the sting operation surfaced before the 2016 Assembly polls.

The CBI lodged an FIR in April 2017 following a court order, naming 12 top TMC leaders, including MPs and West Bengal ministers, and an IPS officer.

In its FIR, the agency said suspected public servants were shown to have either accepted money in cash given by Samuel posing as a representative of a Chennai-based company, or asked him to hand over the money to someone else on their behalf were identified.

An FIR was lodged for alleged criminal conspiracy under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which deals with bribery and criminal misconduct.

The Enforcement Directorate also started a parallel investigation and lodged a case of misappropriation of public funds under the Anti Corruption Act.

You Cannot Cherry-Pick Whom You Arrest: Mathew Samuel

Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari, who were among the Trinamool leaders allegedly caught taking bribes, have since joined the BJP. They are now BJP MLAs after contesting in the state elections.

Banerjee’s spokesperson lawyer Anindyo Raut said, “These arrests are politically motivated and illegal. Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy have been let off though they face the same charges,” Raut quoted the CM as saying, according to IANS.

Samuel, who did the Narada sting operation, in an interview to Outlook said that the arrests showed some progress in the “long wait for justice” but expressed his shock at the CBI’s failure to proceed against Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari “because the evidence against them is pretty much the same as the evidence against those who had been arrested”.

Samuel added, “I met Suvendu Adhikari at his office and gave him Rs 5 lakh. This tape was also submitted to the CBI and forensically verified to be correct. Why the names of Roy and Adhikari do not appear in the charge sheet or the list of sanctions for prosecution given by the Governor is a mystery to me. Frankly, it is shocking because you cannot cherry-pick whom you arrest, based on the same evidence.”
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What Is TMC's Stand on the Case?

The TMC maintained that the Centre was using agencies to pursue political vendetta against the Opposition leaders. They also pointed out how the Governor had not permitted to prosecute Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari.

The fact that the arrests came just weeks after the TMC decisively won over the BJP in the recently concluded Assembly polls also raised questions.

Reacting to the arrests, TMC leader Mahua Moitra tweeted:

(With inputs from Outlook)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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