CBI accuses Mamata of terrorising it; challenges house arrest of Trinamool leaders in SC

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) The CBI has moved the Supreme Court challenging a Calcutta High Court order allowing the house arrest of four Trinamool Congress heavyweights in the Narada sting operation case.
The investigating agency has also claimed that the Calcutta High Court ignored the disturbing pattern wherein Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ‘terrorised’ it by remaining present at the CBI office along with a well-engineered crowd of ‘thousands of miscreants’ outside the probe agency’s office in Kolkata.
The top court is likely to hear on Tuesday CBI’s appeal against the Calcutta High Court order sending four Trinamool leaders to house arrest after cancelling their judicial custody.
Kolkata witnessed high drama last Monday 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.
While a lower court granted bail to the four Trinamool leaders on Monday evening, the order was stayed by the Calcutta High Court late on the same night.
The CBI said in its plea in the top court that the West Bengal Chief Minister had rushed to its office on May 17 and passed several derogatory and defamatory comments about the probe agency, and even threatened to register cases against the officers under the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act, among others.
She shouted “you also arrest me”, and demanded unconditional release of the arrested accused, said the petition.
The CBI has named Banerjee, Bengal Law Minister Moloy Ghatak and Trinamool MP Kalyan Banerjee as parties in the petition.
The CBI said that thousands of followers of Trinamool Congress had laid siege on the CBI building at Nizam Palace in Kolkata last Monday, constantly trying to disrupt the process of law by engaging in stone pelting.
The CBI contended that the Chief Minister did not bat an eye and stood in support of it all till the end.
The petition said: “The terror was created by and at the behest of the respondent persons, including the Chief Minister who herself who remained present at the CBI office [in the very room where the arrested accused persons were kept] along with a well-engineered crowd of thousands of miscreants and after ensuring media presence.”
The CBI added that it is most relevant to note that it did not pray for police custody of the accused on May 17 before the competent court due to the terror unleashed by the Trinamool workers and leaders, including the Chief Minister of the state.
The agency claimed that the accused involved in economic offence of grave nature are influential members of the society. Therefore, putting them under house arrest is subject to a constant risk of them tampering with the witnesses or the administration of justice, the CBI said.
“The visit of the CM to the CBI office where the four accused were kept broke all rules and norms and violated the very rule of law which the Chief Minister took the oath to abide by,” argued the CBI.
The probe agency said that the Kolkata Police have even registered a case against CBI officials, who were discharging their lawful duties.
The CBI contended that after the high court order, the accused chose to stay back in the hospital where they continuously met guests and other political workers.
The acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court had on Friday constituted a five-member bench to hear the interim bail plea of the four Trinamool heavyweights.
The matter was referred to the five-judge bench after the two judges of the high court division bench differed with each other.

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