Due to the difference in opinion between the two judges of the Calcutta High Court, the arrested TMC leaders were sent to house arrest before being presented to the larger bench on Monday.
No sooner did the hearing of Narada Sting scam began on Friday than the difference in opinions was seen between Justice Rajesh Bindal (acting) and Arijit Bandhopadhyay where the latter gave verdict in favour of bail for the TMC leaders and Bindal wanted house arrest of the leaders.
Following the fall-out, it was decided that the case will be shifted to a larger bench and the hearing was scheduled for Friday afternoon. But due to the delay in setting up the judges’ bench the hearing of the case was pushed to May 24.
A bench of five judges has been set at Calcutta High Court to hear the Narada sting scam on Monday at 11 am. The bench includes judges Rajesh Bindal (acting), Arijit Bandhopadhyay, Soumen Sen, Harish Tandon and Indraprasanna Mukherjee.
Meanwhile, the Calcutta High Court has given an order stating guidelines for the arrested TMC leaders Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra and former TMC minister Sovan Chatterjee. It said that they will be on house arrest until further hearing.
“Except the two ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee the other leaders will not be allowed to interact with anyone. Since Firhad is the Municipality head and is dealing with Covid, Firhad is allowed to hold virtual meeting regarding the pandemic. No one from the state administration or party workers can meet the house arrest leaders,” said Madan Mitra’s lawyer Niladri Bhattacharya.
Throwing more light on the restrictions, TMC MP and advocate Kalyan Banerjee said that CCTV cameras will be installed at the residence of all the leaders and if anyone is visiting these arrested leaders, it should be video recorded and entry and exit timings will have to be mentioned in a roster.
“The Calcutta High Court had on May 19 ordered for house arrest but the order came to light today. Today again the verdict was same so why was the TMC leaders unnecessarily harassed for two days. Since Firhad is dealing the pandemic his physical presence will be needed,” slammed Kalyan against the Calcutta High Court’s verdict.
Meanwhile, due to health issues, TMC leaders Madan Mitra and Subrata Mukherjee and former KMC Mayor Sovan Chatterjee remained admitted in SSKM hospital and Firhad Hakim reached back home from Presidency Correctional Home.
According to hospital sources, Madan’s health is critical and Subrata and Sovan are ill but in stable condition.
Incidentally, no sooner did Firhad Hakim reach home than he started video-conferencing to take stock of the Covid situation in West Bengal.