TMC leaders’ arrest: Five-judge Bench of Calcutta HC constituted to hear case, matter listed on May 24

In a hearing held on Friday forenoon, a two-judge Bench had differed on whether interim bail should be granted to the four accused, leading to the constitution of the new Bench to settle the issue

Calcutta High Court (File photo)
Calcutta High Court (File photo)

NH Web Desk

The acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, Justice Rajesh Bindal has constituted a five-judge Bench to hear the case concerning the arrest of four All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders in the Narada sting case.

The 5-judge Bench will comprise Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justices IP Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Arijit Banerjee, Bar & Bench has reported

The case will be heard on May 24, 2021.

Both Justice Bindal and Justice Banerjee were part of the Division bench which initially heard the matter. However, the judges differed on whether interim bail should be granted to the four accused.

This led to the constitution of the five-judge Bench to settle the issue.

The four TMC leaders, Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra and Sovan Chatterjee were arrested by the CBI on May 17.

A special CBI court had granted them bail on the same day but the High Court stayed the same by way of an order passed late evening the very same day.

The stay was granted after the CBI sought a transfer of the case from the court dealing with the same, while also citing a threat to the probe agency on the ground that TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee and TMC ministers staged a dharna outside the agency's office, which the CBI alleged was causing ‘obstruction of justice’ and ‘creating an atmosphere of fear’.

The CBI had also alleged that the state Law minister along with his supporters had thronged the special court complex which heard the bail plea of the four leaders.

The accused had subsequently sought recall of that order stating that they were not heard before the order was passed and as such the cardinal principle of natural justice was violated.

The judges on the Division Bench differed with respect to grant of interim bail leading to the present larger Bench.

Earlier today, the Division bench, however, ordered that as an ad hoc arrangement, the accused be placed under house arrest instead of being detained in prison in judicial custody.

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