Narada Bribery Case : CBI Moves Supreme Court , SC Allowing House Arrest Of TMC Leaders

Seeks Adjournment Of Larger Bench Hearing

Seeking adjournment from the 24th May hearing of the 5-Judge Bench of the Calcutta High Court, Central Bureau of Investigation has stated that it has moved the Supreme Court challenging two directions of the Calcutta High Court wherein it allowed house arrest of the four TMC leaders in the Narada Scam case and sought to place the matter before a larger Bench.

Consequently, the CBI has circulated an adjournment letter before the 5-judge Bench of the Calcutta High Court which is to set to hear the case on Monday, 24th May, on the grounds that it will be moving the Supreme Court of India challenging the High Court’s orders dated 19th May and 21st May. The CBI has informed the High Court that it has filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court, which has been provisionally numbered.

On 21st May, following a split in the Calcutta High Court Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Arijit Banerjee hearing the case pertaining to the bail of four Trinamool Congress leaders – Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra and Sovan Chatterjee, who have been in custody since May 17 since their arrest by the CBI in the Narada Scam case, the matter was referred to a larger Bench.

Justice Banerjee had passed an order allowing interim bail, while ACJ Bindal had disagreed and stated that the four arrested TMC leaders must be kept in house arrest, which led to the reference. Accordingly, for the timebeing, the accused were directed to be kept under house arrest and were permitted to access files, meet officials through video-conferencing so as to allow them to discharge their functions.

The Bench had rejected the request made by the CBI to stay the order for house arrest. It had also declined the requests made by the TMC leaders’ counsels for their release on interim bail.

Later, ACJ Bindal constituted a 5-Judge Bench comprising of ACJ Bindal, and Justices IP Mukherjee, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Arijit Banerjee, to hear the matter.

The Bench is to sit on May 24, 2021 at 11 AM.

Background

On May 17, the Bench had stayed the bail granted by the Special CBI Court at Kokata to four Trinamool Congress leaders – Firhad Hakim, Madan Mitra, Subrata Mukherjee and Sovan Chatterjee – who were arrested dramatically by CBI on May 17.

The bench passed the stay order after a dramatic late-night hearing held on the basis of a letter sent by the CBI seeking transfer of the case to the High Court citing “unprecedented mob pressure” exerted on the lower court by the mass protests led by Chief Minister and the Law Minister against the arrests of the TMC leaders.

The next day, the TMC leaders filed applications seeking recall of the stay order on the ground that it was passed without issuing notice to them.

On May 19, the Bench heard Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for the CBI, and Senior Advocates Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Sidharth Luthra for the arrested TMC leaders. Singhvi and Luthra had prayed for interim bail on the ground that the accused are aged persons having comorbidities. The Bench was told that three of the arrested persons were shifted to hospital and one of them, Sovan Chatterjee continued to be in jail.

Courtesy : LiveLaw

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