New Delhi: Another Supreme Court Judge, Justice Aniruddha Bose, who is from Kolkata withdrew herself from hearing the infamous Narada bribery case involving West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday saying: “I do not want to hear this case.”
Following which, Justice Hemant Gupta, then asked the registry to post the case before another bench. A bench headed by Justice Vineet Saran will hear Ms Banerjee’s plea on Friday. “This is a new case which has come to us now. We have not yet read the file. So let us have it on Friday,” Justice Saran said.
Earlier, Justice Indira Banerjee, who is also from Kolkata, had opted out of a separate case related to violence in parts of Bengal after the May 2 state election verdict that gave Mamata Banerjee a massive victory.
The Supreme Court is hearing petitions by the Bengal Chief Minister and state Law Minister Moloy Ghatak challenging the Calcutta High Court’s refusal to take on record their affidavits in the Narada case.
The Chief Minister and Law Minister wanted to file affidavits to present their version on the CBI’s request to shift the Narada case out of Bengal on grounds of pressure from the state government.
But the High Court said they both took the calculated risk of not filing affidavits at the right time, “now they cannot be allowed to file the affidavits at their own whims and fancies.”
The CBI has asked for the Narada hearing to be transferred out citing “mobocracy” in the state. Its argument is based on Mamata Banerjee’s protest at the CBI office when four Trinamool leaders were arrested in the bribery case on May 17. The CBI also alleged that when the arrested leaders were being produced in court, the Law Minister landed there with a mob.
The Narada case involves a sting operation by a journalist in which several Trinamool leaders were allegedly caught on camera accepting wads of cash in bribe.