The CBI told the Calcutta High Court on Friday that the chargesheet in the Narada sting tapes case will be submitted in about a month’s time if necessary procedures are completed.
Additional Solicitor General Kaushik Chanda told the court of Justice Joymalyo Bagchi that the agency was close to “stitching up” the case and will submit chargesheet in about a month if sanctions from authorities are received since the matter involves people’s representatives like MPs and MLAs.
Chanda said this during the hearing of a petition by Trinamool Congress MP Aparupa Poddar seeking quashing of the case against her in connection with the Narada sting tapes, in which people resembling senior TMC leaders were allegedly seen accepting bribes.
Chanda, representing the CBI, said forensic report of the recordings provided by the editor of Narada News, Mathew Samuel, and the code to open the mobile phone with which the recordings were allegedly made by Samuel were yet to be in their possession.
However, the CBI, which is investigating the case, will file chargesheet based on circumstantial evidence, if the reports do not come by then.
Justice Bagchi adjourned for 12 weeks pleadings in Poddar’s petition seeking quashing of the FIR against her, while directing the investigating agency not to take any coercive action against her for 16 weeks.
Poddar has claimed that she was not an elected representative when the alleged video was shot and so the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act were not applicable against her.
In the sting operation, which was claimed to have been carried out in 2014, some persons resembling senior TMC leaders are seen accepting money from the representatives of a fictitious company in return for favours.
The CBI had booked 12 top TMC leaders, including MPs and West Bengal ministers, and an IPS officer in connection with the case.
An FIR was lodged for alleged criminal conspiracy under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with bribery and criminal misconduct.
The maximum sentence for these crimes ranges from five to seven years of imprisonment.