Calcutta HC directs CBI to investigate Narada News sting operation

The court has also directed the CBI to take possession of all material and devices related to the sting operation within 24 hours. Today, the HC bench presided over by Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty, blasted the Bengal Police as "mere puppets" and asked the Central Bureau to take over the investigation.

The opposition parties, on the other hand, went hammer and tongs at the Trinamool and Banerjee, and demanded dismissal of the accused ministers.

In a 23-minute clip - broadcast widely on both local and national news channels - at least a dozen top leaders of Mamata Banerjee's ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) were caught openly accepting cash from reporters who conducted the sting.

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The High Court judges directed the CBI to complete a preliminary inquiry within 72 hours and to file a FIR, should it be deemed necessary.

Earlier in April 2016, the court had formed a three-member committee to probe the controversial tapes.

It was found to be genuine and not doctored, as alleged by the Trinamool Congress. "The TMC will fight the order both politically and legally".

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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".

Reacting to the order, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the TMC and her government would challenge it before the Supreme Court. But the police also registered a case for forgery against Mathew Samuel of Narada News who had made the sting tapes public.

However, in August, the Calcutta High Court ordered an interim stay on the police probe while hearing the three PILs.

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