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'Orchestrated Attempt To Frustrate Justice & Stop CBI From Discharging Its Functions': SG Tushar Mehta Tells Calcutta High Court in Narada Scam Case

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
19 May 2021 10:54 AM GMT
Orchestrated Attempt To Frustrate Justice & Stop CBI From Discharging Its Functions: SG Tushar Mehta Tells Calcutta High Court in Narada Scam Case
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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has told that the Calcutta High Court that protests by CM Mamta Banerjee and Law Minister Moloy Ghatak, both at the Trial Court and outside the CBI office, were an "orchestrated attempt" to frustrate the course of justice and to stop CBI from discharging its functions. "There were unprecedented extraordinary circumstances… I don't think anywhere else in...

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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has told that the Calcutta High Court that protests by CM Mamta Banerjee and Law Minister Moloy Ghatak, both at the Trial Court and outside the CBI office, were an "orchestrated attempt" to frustrate the course of justice and to stop CBI from discharging its functions.

"There were unprecedented extraordinary circumstances… I don't think anywhere else in the country such shocking incidents have happened where a premier investigating agency, which has been entrusted with the investigation by this court, is stopped from doing its job," he said.

A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Arijit Banerjee of the Calcutta High Court is hearing CBI's case against the bail granted to TMC leaders Firhad Hakim, Madan Mitra, Subrata Mukherjee and Souvan Chatterjee in the Narada Scam case.

It is the CBI's case that in light of "unprecedented pressure tactics and hooliganism" adopted by the Respondents in the form of overcrowding, both at the Trial Court and outside its offices, the proceedings before the Special CBI Court dated May 17 stand vitiated.

The SG submitted that the bail was granted by the Trial Court on the first day and the CBI was not given an opportunity to respond to the application.

"We could not even place the case-diary before the court because we were physically restrained," SG said referring to the huge gathering outside its offices due to the CM's dharna.

He added,

"All this was happening in an orchestrated manner to stop the CBI from seeking police custody of the accused approaching the court… Thousands of party workers laid a seige on the CBI office. There was stone-pelting and officers were heckled and threatened.
Due to these circumstances, the accused could not be medically examined and could not be physically produced before the Court, and CBI could not submit the records before the Court. Therefore, accused were produced only virtually."

He continued that that the CBI did not seek policy custody of the arrested accused because of the 'terror' situation created by the mob. "CBI did not think seeking police custody was safe," he remarked.

Further referring to the gathering outside the Trial Court led by Law Minister Moloy Ghatak, SG submitted,

"The Law Minister reached the court premises with his supporters and remained there throughout the hearing. This had a terrorizing effect not only on the prosecution but also on the administration of justice.

The agency was terrorized not to effectively oppose the bail and not to seek police custody. The agency was prevented from producing the case diary before the Special Court. Therefore, the prosecutor could not effectively oppose bail."



He stated that the CBI has also invoked Section 482, which is applicable against abuse of process of law.

"If this is not abuse of process of law, I don't know what can be abuse of process of law. They now want to vacate this order, so that their orchestrated and well-designed attempts to frustrate justice are successful," he said opposing the recall petition.

During the hearing, Justice Banerjee noted that a chargesheet has already been filed in the matter.

"Do you have a case that they did not cooperate?" he asked.

He suggested that in these times of pandemic, Court may put more stringent conditions on the Respondents. "Is it necessary to put them in jail or correctional homes? You have to address us on that issue," he said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for CBI urged that the Respondents must be kept in custody to prevent them from influencing witnesses.

"The question of bail is not necessarily about they cooperating or not cooperating. The question is linked to their ability to influence the investigation or trial… All the four accused are highly influential and can influence the witnesses or the further investigation," he responded.

He assured the Court that if the accused are having medical issues, they will be properly dealt with.

The bench will continue the hearing tomorrow.

Full court proceedings here.


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