Justice Aniruddha Bose of the Supreme Court recused himself on Tuesday from hearing petitions filed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and state law minister Moloy Ghatak contesting a Calcutta high court judgement barring them from filing an affidavit in the 2016 Narada sting case.
The high court, however, stated that because they both failed to file affidavits on time, “now they cannot be allowed to file the affidavits at their own whims and fancies.” After winning a landslide victory in the state election on May 2, Justice Indira Banerjee withdrew out of a different case involving violence in portions of Bengal.
In the Narada case, a journalist conducted a sting operation in which numerous Trinamool leaders were allegedly captured on camera collecting bribes in cash. The CBI has accused Banerjee and TMC leaders of staging protests following the arrests of MLAs in order to exert pressure on the trial court and sway the bail hearing. Banerjee did not deny going to the CBI headquarters on May 17th but said she was there not as a CM but “as a citizen and as a person acquainted with some of accused persons and family of the accused persons”.
“There is no evidence of the petitioner holding a dharna or gherao or siege outside the CBI office and are thus false allegations. The petitioner at no point made a forcible entry at the office of the CBI, rather, she cleared a three-tier system of central paramilitary security, as applicable to all persons entering the CBI office premises…when she was present at the CBI office, she abided by all directions issued by officers of the CBI.”