Setback for TMC leaders: Supreme Court refuses to stop CBI probe into Narada sting operation

NEW DELHI: In a setback for the Trinamool Congress, the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stop the CBI probe into the Narada sting operation.
The Narada sting tapes, which were released to different news organisations before the 2016 Assembly elections in West Bengal, showed people resembling senior TMC leaders receiving money allegedly for giving future favours.
The top court said it finds no merit in the petitions filed by accused persons to interfere in the high court order directing CBI inquiry into the sting operation.
The Supreme Court rejected the plea of TMC leaders Suvendu Adhikari and Saugata Roy for an SIT probe monitored either by the apex court or the high court.
However, the apex court said if the accused wanted it would request the high court to monitor the CBI inquiry.
Appearing for the TMC ministers, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and AM Singhvi said given the opinion expressed by the high court it would be better not to have any monitoring.
The state government withdrew its appeal and tendered unconditional apology for casting aspersions on the HC judges who ordered CBI probe.
The Supreme Court said the inferences and opinion of the high court in the order would not influence the CBI in its inquiry.
The Calcutta High Court had on March 17 ordered a preliminary inquiry by the CBI into the sting operation.
A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborti directed the CBI to take possession of all material and devices related to the sting operation within 24 hours and to conclude the preliminary enquiry within another 72 hours.
The apex court extended this deadline and asked the CBI to complete the probe in one month.