The Calcutta High Court on Monday clarified that its order in the Narada case would be binding on all parties irrespective of the state government ordering its own investigation into the sting operation.
The observation of the court came after counsel Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya for the petitioner moved the bench drawing its attention over the state government’s decision on June 17 to hold a probe by Kolkata Police into the Narada sting operation despite the matter being pending before the court.
“The matter is sub-judice and an inquiry order by the Chief Minister at this stage would mean interference with the judicial process. Only the court alone can decide on this matter,” Bhattacharya said.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A Banerjee said it does not matter what anyone was saying or doing and the court’s order in the issue would be binding on all, and if anyone was dissatisfied with the high court ruling, he or she could move a higher court.
The government counsel, when asked by the bench about his opinion in this regard, said he was not aware about the matter and needed some time to prepare his response. The chief justice then directed the government counsel to get all the details about the state government’s stand on the matter by June 24, when the matter would be taken up for hearing in connection with the petition that sought establishment of genuineness of the tapes and an investigation into the matter thereof.
The division bench had on April 29 ordered the director of Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory at Hyderabad to make preliminary inquiry to find out whether the devices used in the ‘sting’ and the recordings were tampered, engineered, doctored or genuine. It directed the CFSL to complete the analysis within four weeks of being given the recordings and devices – an iPhone, a laptop and a pen drive.
The sting videos had purportedly shown several senior TMC leaders accepting money from a fictitious company.