Narada sting case: CBI to file final charge sheet

Kolkata: In a fresh blow to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is all set to file the final charge sheet in the case pertaining to Narada sting operation of 2014 which showed around a dozen Trinamool Congress members, including ministers, in Banerjee’s government allegedly accepting bribes.

The development comes at a time when the state government is at loggerheads with the Centre over the CBI action in connection with the Saradha deposit-taking scam.

“CBI is close to filing the charge sheet in Narada case. It was only waiting for the director to take charge and give his nod,” said a CBI official, who did not wish to be identified. “The case was registered in 2017 following a court order, and before the FIR we did a preliminary inquiry into it. We have examined several politicians who were allegedly involved in the bribery scam. We will file a charge sheet soon in the case.”

Following a bitter standoff between the CBI and Kolkata Police on February 3 over efforts to get access to the Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar for questioning by the CBI, and a consequent dharna at the streets by the CM, the Supreme Court ordered Kumar to “appear and make himself available” before the central agency at its Shillong office.

Kumar was grilled by the CBI for eight hours on Saturday and appeared before the central agency for a second round of questioning on Sunday.

The purported video footage of the sting operation had surfaced before the 2016 assembly polls, and the CBI had lodged a fresh first information report in April 2017 following a court order. Nearly 13 Trinamool Congress leaders were named in the FIR, and many of them were subsequently interrogated. The purported footage was also sent for a forensic test according to rules.

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