Kolkata, Mar 18 : After being directed by the Calcutta High Court, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday took the charge of Narada sting investigation, officials said.
According to reports, an eight-member team of the central probe agency, led by CBIs anti corruption branch SP Nagendra Prasad, Joint Director A.K. Singh and DIG Abhay Singh, went to State Bank of India (SBI)s Bengal headquarter in Kolkatas Strand Road area on Saturday morning and collected the Narada sting operations raw tape and other evidences, which were kept in a safety vault there.
After taking all evidences and uncut footage, CBIs investigators rushed to their office at Nizam Palace and began primary investigation.
We will examine the entire uncut Narada tape of 428 minutes and other evidences, including hard drive, laptop, pen drive and iphone, will also be checked, a CBI official told IBNS.
We are now waiting for the arrival of a three-man CBI team, which is coming from Delhi, and the preliminary investigation report is likely to be submitted before the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday morning, the official added.
Meanwhile, Narada Newss CEO Mathew Samuel said that he received phone call from the Central probe agency.
Im presently in Cochi and CBI officials called me today. They asked me to hand over all evidences and documents, relating to the sting operation, to them, Mathew Samuel told IBNS.
Ill give them all evidences and Im ready to cooperate with the CBI in this probe, Samuel added.
Earlier on Friday, a division bench, comprising of Calcutta HCs acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty, directed the CBI to begin probe into Narada sting case in next 24 hours and to submit the preliminary report by 72 hours.
After the division bench announced the verdict, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticized the judgement and said that her government and Trinamool Congress (TMC) party will move to the Supreme Court against the order.
Since Mar 14, news portal- Narada News- released several sting operation footage, where TMCs leaders, ministers, MPs and MLAs were exposed while allegedly taking bribes.
From the beginning, TMC leaderships had claimed that the sting footage was doctored and conspiracy of oppositions.
Following West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjees direction, Kolkata Polices Special Investigation Team (SIT) had started investigation into the matter.
Demanding CBI or ED probe into 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.
(Reporting by Deepayan Sinha)