The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a petition against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, in connection with the Narada bribery case. This comes days after she dared the bureau to arrest her after it detained one former and three current Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders.
In the 123-page petition, the CBI has named Mamata’s close aide and TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee, as well as state minister Malay Ghatak. The CBI has highlighted the Bengal CM’s misconduct in the petition.
TMC leaders Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee were taken to the Presidency Correctional Home in Kolkata late on Monday night after the Calcutta High Court stayed their bail in connection with the 2016 Narada sting operation. The other two accused – TMC MLA Madan Mitra and former mayor of Kolkata, Sovan Chatterjee – were rushed to hospitals after they complained of ill health.
The four accused were arrested on Monday by the CBI on charges of bribery and corruption in the Narada scam, sparking fierce protests by party supporters and a six-hour stir by Mamata Banerjee. They were granted bail by a special CBI judge, but the decision was held late on Monday by the High Court. The appeal is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday again.
Mitra and Chatterjee were hospitalised around 4 am on Tuesday. Chatterjee is reportedly suffering from diabetes while Mitra previously tested positive for COVID-19. “I am having breathing trouble. We are elected representatives. We are not thieves and dacoits. CBI should not have treated us like this,” said Mitra after shifting to the hospital.
According to a jail official, Hakim and Mukherjee might also be taken to the hospital on Tuesday for examinations. Mukherjee, along with Mitra and Chatterjee, had gone to the hospital but later returned to the prison. “I am not keeping well. I may have to go for a check-up on Tuesday,” said Mukherjee at the hospital early on Tuesday.
Hakim said that as the chairman of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s Board of Administrators, he was supervising the COVID-19 management in the city. “CBI did not allow me to save the people of Kolkata. I was in charge and looking after the management of vaccines, arranging ambulance, and disposing of the dead bodies in the city. I have full faith in the judiciary,” said Hakim, minutes before being taken into custody.
A Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal is slated to hear the matter today.