Background history of Narada Case:
It all starts from Narada sting operation was conducted by Narada news founder Mathew Samuel for over two years in West Bengal. Conducted in 2014 for the news magazine Tehelka, it was published on a private news website Narada News months before the 2016 West Bengal Assembly elections. Samuel is the former managing editor of Tehelka.
As part of the operation, Samuel formed a fictitious company named Impex Consultancy Solutions and approached several TMC ministers, MPs and leaders, asking them for favours in return for money.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested four ministers, Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, TMC MLA Madan Mitra and former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chattopadhyay in the Narada bribery case.
The move comes days after Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar gave his consent to the CBI for filing a chargesheet against the four accused and sanctioned prosecution against them.
Charges and Accusation in Narada Case:
Samuel claimed that K. D. Singh, TMC Rajya Sabha MP and majority owner of Tehelka, knew and funded the entire operation. Samuel claimed that the budget of the operation was initially set at ₹2,500,000 but was later increased to ₹8,000,000. Singh, however, refuted his involvement with any aspect of the sting.
The state government initiated its own probe which booked Samuel under multiple sections of the IPC 469 (forgery to harm reputation), 500 (defamation), 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) etc. On August 5, 2016, the High Court stayed the state probe for ad infimum, observing that the police cannot run a concurrent investigation along with a court-monitored probe.
Court Hearing details in Narada Case:
On March 17, 2017, the Calcutta high court ordered that a preliminary probe will be conducted by the CBI. The court also directed the CBI to register an FIR against those who were involved in the case, if required.
On March 18, 2017, the state initiated disciplinary proceedings against SMH Mirza.
On April 16, 2017, the CBI filed a First Information Report against 12 Trinamool leaders for “criminal conspiracy”. The CBI also subsequently summoned all of the leaders involved to assist in the investigation. All of them were booked under Section 120 B of IPC (criminal conspiracy), Section 13 (2), 13 (1D) and Section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act.
Judge Anupam Mukerjee had on April 17, while ordering interim bail to the four leaders, directed them to physically appear before the court on June 4.
State ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim, TMC MLA Madan Mitra and former city mayor Sovan Chatterjee appeared before the judge and left the Bankshall court premises after a while.
Judge Mukherjee said that the next date for the hearing of the matter will be fixed later in the day.
They were placed under house arrest on May 21 by a division bench of the high court, which modified its earlier stay on interim bail granted to the four leaders by the special CBI court.
The matter was referred to a larger bench of five judges after the judges of a division bench presided by Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal differed on granting interim bail to the four accused.