Updated: May 19, 2021 1:27:06 am
THREE of the four Trinamool Congress leaders arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday in a case related to the 2016 Narada sting operation were admitted to the SSKM Hospital.
Transport and Housing Minister Firhad Hakim, Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee, MLA Madan Mitra and former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee were taken to the Presidency Correctional Home after the Calcutta High Court rejected the interim bail granted by the court of the CBI Special Judge (1).
Representing the four, senior lawyer Abhishek Singhvi and advocate and TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee approached the Calcutta High Court Division Bench in the morning. But the matter will be heard only on Wednesday along with the CBI plea of transfer of case out of West Bengal.
Mitra and Sovan Chatterjee fell sick and were admitted in the Woodburn ward of SSKM on Monday night itself. On Tuesday Morning, Subrata Mukherjee too was admitted. Firhad Hakim spent the day in jail.
Singhvi and former Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra will represent the three TMC leaders Hakim, Mukherjee and Mitra in the High Court on Wednesday. A senior advocate of TMC said, “To counter CBI, we plan to raise two legal points. One, such cases are always heard by a single bench. Why was this taken up by a division bench? Two, it is for the Supreme Court to decide on such issues, and our leaders cannot be denied bail.”
On Monday evening, citing undue pressure — Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sat on dharna at CBI office for over six hours during the day and demanded unconditional release of the TMC leaders — the CBI sought a transfer of the trial outside the state.
Frowning at the incident, the High Court said, “Confidence of the people in the justice system will be eroded in case such types of incidents are allowed to happen in the matters where political leaders are arrested and are to be produced in the Court.” It rejected the interim bail and adjourned the case to Wednesday, May 19.
TMC MLA, Tapas Roy, said the BJP government at the Centre was trying to exact revenge after having lost the just-concluded Assembly elections. “It is a deep-rooted conspiracy. This has been done to seek revenge after the BJP lost the election badly. Two others related to the Narada case, Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy, were not arrested as they now happen to be BJP members,” said Roy.
BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said the law will take its own course. “We have nothing to say. The CBI is working at the direction of the High Court and they have acted accordingly. We have no role to play here. The TMC must fight the case in the legal way instead of attacking us,” he said.
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