Following the Calcutta High Court order tasking the CBI with the Narada tapes preliminary investigation, the agency on Saturday collected devices storing the footage from a bank locker in Kolkata. The high court order had read, “I direct the CBI to take custody of the devices and the CFSL reports which are maintained by the special committee in a bank locker within 24 hours. The inquiry shall be concluded within 72 hours after that.”
A special team has been formed under the leadership of a top state CBI official. The agency has already submitted a report to the court after possessing the devices.
According to sources, the team collected harddisks, laptop, documents and the iPhone on which the footage was allegedly filmed. Mathew Samuel, CEO of Narada News, has also been contacted to record his statement, said CBI sources. Samuel has expressed his willingness to cooperate, the source added.
Although the video purportedly showed money being exchanged, the CBI will investigate whether a criminal offence was captured. The raw footage is believed to be more than 7 hours long. The Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Chandigarh had earlier confirmed the genuineness of the footage.
On Friday a Division Bench of acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborty had directed CBI to register an FIR if required after completion of the preliminary report to start formal investigation. During court proceeding division bench addressed the state police as “puppets”. The purported sting operation allegedly showed top Trinamool Congress leaders accepting money from a fictitious company.