Narada case: SC judge recuses himself from hearing Mamata appeal


The CM, Law Minister, and the West Bengal government had appealed against the Calcutta High Court’s refusal to immediately consider their affidavits countering allegations about their role on the day of arrest of four TMC leaders by the CBI.

Supreme Court judge Justice Aniruddha Bose on June 22 recused himself from hearing appeals filed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Law Minister Moloy Ghatak and the West Bengal government against the Calcutta High Court’s refusal to immediately consider their affidavits countering allegations about their role on the day of the arrest of four TMC leaders by the CBI in the Narada sting tape case.

Following Justice Bose’s decision, the Bench headed by Justice Hemant Gupta ordered the petitions to be placed before another Bench. The court gave the petitioners liberty to seek an early listing of the case.

Justice Bose was formerly a judge in the Calcutta High Court.

On June 18, another former Calcutta HC judge, Justice Indira Banerjee, had recused herself from hearing a petition filed by the families of two BJP activists allegedly killed in the post-poll violence in West Bengal. Justice Banerjee was heading a Vacation Bench, which also comprised Justice M.R. Shah.

On the same day, the second Vacation Bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian had requested the Calcutta High Court to defer its scheduled hearing of the Narada case on June 21. The Supreme Court had even urged the High Court to hold over the hearing to June 23.

‘Affidavits essential’

Senior advocates Rakesh Dwivedi and Vikas Singh, for Mr. Ghatak and the State government, respectively, had said the affidavits were “essential” to the case and provided the truth about the events of May 17, the day of the arrest of the four TMC leaders.

A separate plea by Ms. Banerjee in the Supreme Court contended that the CBI was trying to malign the State Ministers without any proof to substantiate its allegations against them in the Narada case. She said it was essential to allow her to file an affidavit to counter the agency’s claims that she “terrorised” them by protesting outside their office.

“The affidavits are very important in the case… If the Supreme Court hearing is kept on Tuesday, the High Court hearing should be deferred,” Mr. Dwivedi had submitted on June 18.

A five-judge Bench of the Calcutta High Court is hearing the Narada case. On June 9, this Bench had said it would consider the affidavits later on.

Mr. Dwivedi had countered CBI’s claims that Mr. Ghatak was present in the courtroom with a mob when the four TMC leaders were produced after their arrest. The senior advocate said the Minister was in an official meeting at the time. Even the CBI officials were not present at the spot as the hearing was held virtually.



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