New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday (May 17, 2021) arrested West Bengal cabinet ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee along with Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Madan Mitra and ex-West Bengal minister Sovan Chatterjee in connection with the Narada case.
The probe agency will also submit the chargesheet on Monday itself and produce them before the jurisdictional court.
The CBI stated that Firhad Hakim was seen to have agreed for the acceptance of bribe money of Rs five lakhs, whereas, Subrata Mukherjee was seen to have accepted the illegal gratification of Rs five lakhs. CBI claimed that Madan Mitra was also seen to have accepted the illegal gratification of Rs five lakhs and Sovan Chatterjee of Rs four lakhs.
Besides them, the Prosecution Sanction has been received from the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding SMH Meerza, IPS (SPS), the then SP, for having seen to have received illegal gratification of over Rs five lakhs. Meerza, notably, had already been arrested and is presently out on bail.
The arrest comes a week after West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar accorded sanction to prosecute the four former TMC ministers.
Governor accorded sanction for prosecution of Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra & Sovan Chatterjee being appointing authority of Ministers @MamataOfficial under Article 164 & thus competent authority
Media reports that sanction was for being MLA is incorrect. pic.twitter.com/vqEg7Cv6OW
— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) May 9, 2021
The statement said that the sanction for prosecution of the four leaders was accorded by Dhankhar "after the CBI had made a request and made available entire documentation relevant to the case to the honourable governor and he invoked his powers under Article 163 and 164 of the Constitution, being the competent authority to accord such sanction".
This is to be noted that the Narada sting tapes which were made public before the West Bengal 2016 assembly elections, claimed to have been shot in 2014. In the video, the ministers were allegedly seen receiving money from representatives of a fictitious company in lieu of promised favours.
The Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the sting operation in March 2017.