Calcutta HC orders CBI probe into Narada case

"Therefore it is of utmost importance that the preliminary inquiry should be conducted by a neutral and independent investigative agency", acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre, who penned the main order, observed during Friday's hearing. "We are going to higher court against the High Court order on #Narada sting operation". The court also ordered probe against senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer SMH.

Mamata defended her ministers and said that the BJP is behind the sting operation.

The High Court's ruling is sure to add to the headaches of Bengal's ruling dispensation as more and more of its leaders come under the scanner for alleged financial improprieties. CBI lawyer Ashrf Ali said: "We are happy that the high court considered the CBI suitable to investigate the case so that the truth comes out". Meanwhile, the Opposition parties in West Bengal seized upon the judgement and demanded immediate removal of "tainted" ministers from the State Cabinet.

Mirza was seen in the footage and the website claimed that he described himself a "key person who collects funds for the Trinamool Congress".

The web portal Narada News had then uploaded a series of video footage purportedly showing a number of high-profile Trinamool leaders, including former and present ministers, MPs and MLAs receiving money in exchange for doling out favours to a fictitious company. The Narada sting tapes, which were released to different news organisations before the 2016 assembly elections in West Bengal, showed some leaders allegedly taking money. "Dirty tricks departments" of its political opponents are behind this "smear" campaign, said TMC in a statement.

Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said: "I can not say the Chief Minister's hands are clean, or that she is above suspicion with regard to Saradha (multi-billion rupee Saradha chit fund scam) or Narada".

  • Wendy Palmer