Kolkata, Mar 17 : Slamming the role of West Bengal police department, the Calcutta High Court on Friday handed over Narada sting operation probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
A division bench, consisting of Calcutta High Courts acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice Tapobrata Chakraborty, directed the Central probe agency to take over the investigation in the next 24 hours and submit the preliminary inquiry report by 72 hours.
The court also said that CBI would lodge FIR against those, who were seen in the sting tapes, if the agency found them guilty.
Meanwhile, observing the case as a cognizable offence and harmful incident for the society, acting CJ Nishita Mhatre condemned of the roles of state government and its police force in the matter.
The court has also ordered the state administration to suspend senior IPS officer S.M.H. Mirza, who was seen taking bribe in the sting footage.
Since Mar 14, news portal- Narada News- released several sting operation footage, where TMCs leaders, ministers, MPs and MLAs were recorded, allegedly taking bribes.
Ever since the video footage came to light, TMC leaderships have been claiming that the sting footage is doctored and a conspiracy of opposition parties.
Following West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjees direction, Kolkata Polices Special Investigation Team (SIT) had started an investigation into the matter.
Demanding CBI or ED probe into the Narada case, at least three Public Interest Litigations (PIL) were filed before the High Court.
After authenticity of the Narada sting tapes were confirmed by two Central forensic laboratories (CFCL) in Hyderabad and Chandigarh, hearing in the case completed months ago and the order was reserved by the division bench.
Meanwhile, counsels of the accused said that they are moving to the Supreme Court on Saturday against the verdict.
A CBI source told IBNS that a special team of the Central investigation agencys anti corruption unit in Delhi will take the charge of Narada probe soon and the CBI will take raw sting footage and other evidences from the courts custody by next 24 hours.
(Reporting by Deepayan Sinha)
Image: Wikimedia Commons