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CBI more independent than police to probe Narada case: HC

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday 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 Nishita Mhatre 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.

Counsel Partha Sarathi Sengupta, appearing for state Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari, 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 SMH 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?
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