Bribery case: Calcutta High Court grants interim bail to 4 including 2 ministers
The Calcutta High Court today granted interim bail to two West Bengal ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, TMC legislator Madan Mitra and former Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation in Narada sting operation case relating to alleged graft.
The interim bail was given by a five-member bench of the High Court with condition that the relief is valid till the bench gives a final order in this case.
The bench granted interim bail upon furnishing two bonds of Rs 2 lakh each, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The CBI can further interrogate the accused virtually because of the prevailing Covid-19 situation, the High Court said, adding the investigations can proceed via video conferencing.
Also, the leaders cannot give interviews to the media on this case.
When the hearing commenced in the High Court today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing CBI, opposed interim bail to the arrested four politicians, saying they are influential and could whip up public emotions again.
Justice IP Mukherji, one of the judges of the five-member bench, asked the Solicitor General why the TMC leaders, who have not been arrested during the investigation for over four years, should be kept in house-arrest now when they are required to do public functions during the pandemic.
The four politicians have been under house arrest in the Narada sting operation case after the High Court had stayed a bail given by the special CBI court in the case which relates to Narada portal's sting operation that shows the four accused as taking money from a fictitious investor in return for favours.
The four leaders were arrested on the morning of May 17 by CBI which is investigating the Narada sting tapes case on a 2017 order of the Calcutta High Court.
A special CBI court had granted interim bail to the four accused on May 17 but a division bench of the high court comprising acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Arijit Banerjee stayed the bail later that day, following which the leaders were sent to judicial custody.