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CBI more independent than state police to probe Narada case: Calcutta HC

The Calcutta High Court today said the CBI will be a more independent agency to probe the Narada sting operation than an agency under the state government.

Hearing a PIL seeking a CBI probe into the Narada sting operation wherein ruling Trinamool Congress leaders are purportedly seen receiving money, a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice NishitaMhatre and Justice T Chakraborty asked whether an investigating agency of the state can be independent of state authorities while probing matters of some persons allegedly related to the incident.

The bench observed that the CBI being a central agency, will be more independent than the police of the state where the alleged incident has happened.

Appearing for state Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari, counsel Partha Sarathi Sengupta submitted that there cannot be an assumption of improper exercise of power by the state police.

One has to assume that the authority will be impartial and in case there is a deviation, the courts may always step in to correct the course of investigation, he submitted.

He stated that the alleged video tapes were made public on March 14, 2016 and the PIL seeking a CBI probe into the matter was filed on the very next day, and claimed there is a political motive into the filing of the PIL.

Sengupta claimed that the statutory process laid down by law would require that the state police will initiate an investigation on a complaint and directing the CBI to conduct the initial inquiry will be an infringement of that.Appearing for S M H Mirza, an IPS officer allegedly seen in the tapes, counsel Kishore Dutta submitted that a police station has to register an FIR if a cognisable offence is disclosed and there are remedies in court if an FIR is not properly investigated.

But, one cannot go to the highest court of the state at the outset and seek remedy, he claimed. Justice Mhatre asked that when there is an allegation against a police officer and if the police station does not register a case, then what happens, where does the common man go? Dutta submitted that the person can go to the Superintendent of Police and even if he finds no remedy there, he may approach the magistrate’s court, but not the high court directly. The matter will be taken up for hearing again tomorrow.