Narada: CBI withdraws SC plea challenging HC order on house-arrest

Reading Time: 2 minutes

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed it did not approve of dharna by the Chief Minister of West Bengal and her law minister laying siege of the CBI office in Kolkata, and also thronging of the trial court with supporters.

The top court’s observation came during the hearing of a CBI plea challenging the house-arrest order of four Trinamool Congress leaders in the Narada sting operation case.

The CBI, however, withdrew its appeal in the top court challenging the Calcutta High Court. The CBI opted to go back to the high court to raise all contention against order of house arrest.

A bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and B.R. Gavai told the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, “Why should the accused persons be made to suffer because of a dharna by the chief minister and law minister?

“Proceed against them if you wish to.” The bench added that it does not appreciate such dharnas by the chief minister to pressurize the agency, but can the accused be made to suffer.

The bench said, “We do not like to mix liberty of citizens with whatever illegal acts of politicians. We will not do that.”

Citing the Calcutta High Court’s five-judge bench was already hearing the matter, the top court asked the CBI whether it would want to withdraw the appeal against the High Court.

Mehta requested for a pass-over to discuss and get back to the court. The top court posted the matter at the end of the board. Later, Mehta informed the top court that CBI would withdraw its appeal against the High Court order, which ordered house-arrest of TMC leaders.

Kolkata witnessed high drama May 17 after CBI sleuths arrested two Trinamool Congress ministers — Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee — along with present MLA Madan Mitra and former Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Sovon Chattopadhyay — in connection with the 2016 Narada sting tapes case, in which several politicians and a high-ranked police officer were allegedly found accepting cash for providing unofficial favours to a fictitious company.