5 CBI, 2 ED officers appear before speaker after Calcutta high court order – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: Five CBI and two Enforcement Directorate officers presented themselves before Bengal assembly speaker Biman Banerjee on Monday after the Calcutta high court directed the CBI officials to appear before him and “respectfully seek” an adjournment of his hearing.
Assembly speaker Banerjee had summoned officials of both agencies and sought their explanation on how they could proceed against MLAs without seeking his permission. The speaker’s action followed CBI and ED charge sheets on and arrest of state cabinet ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee and former minister Madan Mitra in the Narada sting operation case. CBI deputy superintendent of police Satyendra Singh had moved the high court, questioning the speaker’s authority to summon them.
Justice Rajasekhar Mantha gave the order after CBI officers stayed away from the speaker’s office on the ground that the agency had taken the Bengal governor’s sanction for the prosecution of Hakim, Mukherjee, Mitra and another former state minister, Sovan Chatterjee. Singh also wanted to know whether the assembly speaker could question the validity of the sanction for prosecution when the issue was pending before the high court. Justice Mantha wanted to hear the speaker’s views before hearing the matter again on Tuesday.
The officers appeared before the Bengal assembly speaker at Vidhan Sabha at 4pm, in accordance with the HC order, and stayed there for 30 minutes. Neither the officers nor Biman Banerjee spoke to the media.
CBI started the investigation into the Narada sting operation in March 2017 after a Calcutta HC directive. The sting surfaced before the 2016 elections in Bengal; videos showed prominent politicians and one police officer being offered cash to further a business proposal and some accepting it.
The CBI probe report was sent to the governor in January 2021, seeking permission to prosecute Hakim, Mukherjee, Mitra and Chatterjee. Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar granted the sanction on May 7, 2021, five days after the Trinamool handed out a 213-77 defeat to the BJP and two days after Mamata Banerjee was sworn in as CM. The CBI arrested the four politicians on May 17, 2021.
Speaker Banerjee took exception to the CBI’s seeking sanction of prosecution from the governor when the speaker was “the guardian of the members of the state assembly”. The speaker also flagged his displeasure at a national conference of speakers and complained against the governor’s “interference in the speaker’s domain”.
The ED counsel said in court on Monday that the agency would be moving a petition on Tuesday challenging the speaker’s power to summon an ED official to his office.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/5-cbi-2-ed-officers-appear-before-speaker-after-hc-order/articleshow/86762744.cms