In a major embarrassment to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Calcutta High Court on Monday asked the premier agency to appear before West Bengal Speaker Biman Banerjee.
Ruling on the CBI’s appeal challenging the Speaker’s decision to summon agency officials in the Narada bribery case, Justice Rajsekhar Mantha said: “Speaker is a constitutional post and so if the Speaker calls, then the person will have to go.”
The court said that the CBI officers will have to appear before the Speaker at 4 p.m. but made it very clear that no coercive steps cannot be taken against the agency. The case will again be heard on Tuesday.
Banerjee summoned two senior officers – one from Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation each, asking them to appear before him on October 4 in regards to the charge sheet filed against three MLAs, including two ministers, by the two agencies in Narada bribery case without taking his permission.
However, the CBI moved the court challenging the summons, contending that they have followed all the legal formalities and it is not necessary to take the permission of the Speaker in this regard.
Earlier the Speaker had summoned the officers of the two agencies on September 22 but they refused to appear to him. This is the second time they have been summoned.
The two probe agencies recently charge sheeted and summoned several MLAs of the ruling Trinamool Congress, including ministers, for their alleged involvement in ponzi scam cases and the Narada sting operation case. In the charge sheet by both the ED and the CBI, names of state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee, State Transport Minister Firhad Hakim and MLA from Kamarhati Madan Mitra, figured.
The CBI has issued summons against them and they have been asked to be present in court on November 16. The letters have been sent to the Assembly.