Deepali Kalia –
The Calcutta High Court on May 28 granted interim bail to all four Bengal Politicians – West Bengal transport Minister Firhad Hakim, Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee, TMC MLA Madan Mitra and former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee , who were arrested by the CBI in connection with the Narada Bribery Case.
All the four politicians were under house arrest as per the High Court’s order.
“We will grant them (TMC leaders) interim bail with certain conditions and hear the main matter (CBI’s prayer for transfer of the case outside the state) as it will take a week or so.” the five-member bench stated.
The bail was granted to them by the High Court on a personal bond of 2 lakh rupees with conditions that the leaders should not give any interviews on the case and should cooperate with the investigation.
CBI on the other hand had contended that the four leaders were too influential and therefore should not be granted bail.
“These leaders are influential to influence the proceedings. This will send a wrong message. It will have an adverse impact on the society. We urge that court should not grant them interim bail now,” said Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India, representing the agency.
The arrests of the leaders had ignited massive protests and the West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had camped outside CBI’s office daring the investigators to arrest her too.
Narada bribery case includes a 2014 sting operation conducted by a journalist who had posed as a business man planning to invest in West Bengal. He had given wads of cash as bribe to seven Trinamool MPs, four Ministers and one MLA.