On Friday, the Supreme stayed a Calcutta High Court order and refused to take on record affidavits filed by the Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, and other in connection with the Narada case.
The SC also directed the CM and the Bengal government and Law Minister, Moloy Ghatak, to file a fresh plea asking the High Court to reconsider the taking of the affidavits on record.
The High Court had been asked to decide on the fresh pleas and accepting the affidavits at the next scheduled hearing date which is on June 29.
The order came today after Justice Aniruddha Bose rescued himself. The previous week, another Kolkata Justice Indira Banerjee, opted out of a separate case about the Bengal post-poll violence.
The case had been reassigned to Justice Vineet Saran and was rescheduled to today. Justice Vineet Saran said that it was a new case and they have not yet read the file, so he said to have it on Friday.
Mamata Banerjee had moved the SC against the HC’s decision on June 21. A five-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court on June 9 declined to accept the affidavits filed by Mamata Banerjee and Mr. Ghatak. The bench was led by Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal.
The two advocates appearing for Mamata Banerjee and Mr. Ghatak and the Bengal Government, Senior advocates Rakesh Dwivedi and Vikas Singh, said that the affidavits had to be on record as they dealt with the roles of concerned persons.
The High Court said that Ms. Banerjee and Mr. Ghatak can not now be allowed to file the affidavits at their own whims and fancies. The HC also said that both of them took the risk of not filing the affidavits at the right time.
The affidavits contained the events in the version of Mamata Banerjee and Moloy Ghatak for May 17, when three members of the ruling Trinamool Congress had been arrested by the CBI in the connection with Narada Case. The three ministers were Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, MLA Madan Mitra and ex party leader Sovan Chatterjee.
The arrests were followed by Mamata Banerjee camping outside the agency office for over six hours, and the same time the Trinamool supporters protested by throwing stones and tried breaking barricades. The protests had been cited as “Mobocracy”, and the CBI asked for the transfer of the hearing of Narada case out of the state. The affidavits of Ms. Banerjee and Mr. Ghatak were meant to counter the CBI’s transfer request.
The Narada Case involves a 2014 sting operation by a journalist who posed as a businessman with a plan for investing in Bengal, where he gave cash as bribes to seven of the Trinamool MP’s, four ministers, one MLA and a police officer and taped the entire exchange. The tapes had been released just before the 2016 Assemble election.