Narada Case: HC Orders House Arrest of 4 TMC Leaders
The court said that the matter had been referred to a larger Bench after judges on the Division Bench disagreed.
The Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court Rajesh Bindal on Friday, 21 May, constituted a five Judges’ Bench to hear the matter pertaining to the bail of four Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders who have been in custody since Monday, 17 May, after they were arrested in the Narada bribery case by the CBI, reported LiveLaw.
The case will now be heard on Monday, 24 May, by a five Judges’ Bench, consisting of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, Justice IP Mukerji, Justice Harish Tandon, Justice Soumen Sen, and Justice Arijit Banerjee.
Earlier in the day, the Calcutta High Court ordered that the four TMC leaders be kept under house arrest instead of jail, reported Bar & Bench.
The order was given keeping in mind the recent judgment of the Supreme Court in the Gautam Navlakha case, the court said.
Four TMC leaders had been arrested on Monday in the case – ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, MLA Madan Mitra, and former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee.
The court had referred the case to a larger Bench, explaining that one of the judges on the Bench thought it fit to grant interim bail, while another did not, Bar & Bench reported.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR?
On Thursday, the Calcutta HC had deferred the hearing in the Narada scam case due to “unavoidable circumstances”.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), during the hearing on Wednesday, had sought that the Narada scam case be transferred outside the state, alleging that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her leaders are “obstructing CBI officials from carrying out their duties”.
The CBI also sought police custody of the four TMC leaders who were arrested on Monday.
WHAT IS THE NARADA CASE?
In 2016, editor and managing director of Narada News portal, Mathew Samuel, broadcast a sting video right before the West Bengal Assembly elections, in which several TMC leaders were allegedly seen taking bribes.
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.
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