The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging the Calcutta High Court order allowing the house arrest of four Trinamool Congress leaders in the Narada bribery case, Live Law reported. The central agency also sought an adjournment of hearing at the Calcutta High Court, scheduled for Monday.
The Supreme Court is likely to hear the case around 10.30 am, according to NDTV.
Last week, the High Court had ordered that four political leaders, including two Trinamool Congress ministers in the West Bengal government, be kept in house arrest instead of jail. The court had said that that the case should be referred to a larger bench which would hear the interim bail petitions of the leaders, as well as the CBI’s plea to transfer the case out of West Bengal.
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Arijit Banerjee was hearing the case concerning the arrest of Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra and Sovan Chatterjee. Hakim and Mukherjee are ministers in the West Bengal Cabinet, while Mitra is a sitting MLA. Chatterjee was an MLA of the party, when the crime allegedly took place in 2014. He had quit Trinamool and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections, but soon left the saffron outfit too.
The bribery case
The bribery case involves videos published by Narada News, in which several Trinamool Congress leaders were allegedly seen accepting cash in return for favours. The videos, shot by the website’s Chief Executive Mathew Samuel, were released ahead of the state Assembly elections in 2016. Mamata Banerjee has alleged that the sting operation was a conspiracy hatched against her government and party members before the elections. In June 2017, she ordered a police inquiry into the case.
Seven of the then Trinamool Congress MPs were also involved in the scam. Of them, Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy switched sides to the BJP. One of the accused, former Trinamool Congress politician Sultan Ahmed, died in 2017.