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Sibal to defend TMC big guns in SC

Monday, 20 March 2017 | Saugar Sengupta | Kolkata

Former Union Minister Kapil Sibal would stand for Mamata Banerjee Government when it appeals in Supreme Court against the Calcutta High Court verdict ordering CBI investigation into the Narada sting scandal.

The Bengal Government is all set to challenge the High Court verdict as early as on Monday.

The State Law Department is known to have extracted acquiescence of Sibal, a senior advocate and a senior Congress leader, who earlier came under fire from his party’s Bengal chapter when he vainly defended tainted Trinamool leader and former Minister Madan Mitra in the Sharada chit fund scam. In that instance the State Government had spent Rs10 crore — in judicial battle — to preempt CBI investigation in multi-crore ponzi scam.

A galaxy of Trinamool leaders were captured in Narada video tapes allegedly accepting cash from a sting journalist faking as a prospective investor. The video was shot in 2014.

The Trinamool Congress was preferring an appeal before the apex court as a ploy to delay CBI probe in Narada case, particularly before the coming civic elections in a number of municipalities including Diamond Harbour, Bankura and next year’s Panchayat elections, party sources said.

Among those shown taking money in the Narada video tapes aired in March 2016 were State Transport Minister Subhendu Adhikari; Panchayat Minister; Subrata Mukherjee, Kolkata Mayor and State

Fire Services Minister

Sovan Chatterjee; Firhad (Bobby) Hakim, Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister and Madan Mitra, former Sports and Transport Minister.

TMC MPs Saugata Roy, Sultan Ahmed, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Prasun Banerjee, Aparupa Poddar and senior IPS officer SMH Mirza was also seen accepting cash for service from the stated journalist.

Meanwhile, Mathew Samuels, the journalist, who made the “expose” told investigators that the management of news organisation, Tehelka, then owned by TMC MP KD Singh, was aware of the sting operation.

The investigations in Kolkata was funded by the said management, the journalist who was currently in Kochi recuperating from an illness told the CBI in an e-mailed reply, sources said.

The journalist was mailed a set of 12 questions on who funded the project, where he stayed in Kolkata, who helped in contact the senior Trinamool politicians.

Apart from recording Samuel’s replies the CBI on Sunday also recorded statements of three petitioners: Amitabha Chakrabarty, Brajesh Jha and Akshay who filed PILs demanding CBI investigation in the Narada case.

Elsewhere attacking the Bengal Government State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the High Court order had once again proved how corrupt the ruling party and its leaders were.

“This is a Government of corrupt people who have been shielding its corrupt leaders’ Ghosh said adding his party had faith in the judiciary which had ordered a CBI investigation because “the State police did nothing about it though a senior IPS officer was seen accepting bribe in the video tapes.”

 
 
 

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