CBI wants Saradha cases moved outside WB

Probe agency to move SC, cite disruptions by TMC

CBI wants Saradha cases moved outside WB

In the face of severe disruption by Trinamool Congress workers outside courts where the Saradha scam cases are being heard, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plans to appeal for a shift in venue to some other state.

The move was planned after Trinamool supporters caused massive disturbance outside the court premises where state minister Madan Mitra was being produced last week.

The agency would prefer to have the hearings in some other state where such problems would not arise.

The Central agency has already sent a report to this effect to the Ministry of Home Affairs, sources said.

According to sources, the central IB office in Kolkata has reported to its headquarters in New Delhi about the lawlessness of Trinamool supporters on December 13, when Mitra was first produced in court.

Trinamool supporters not only blocked the entrance to the court, they also prevented entry to the van ferrying Mitra despite a large contingent of police escorting the minister, who was arrested last week for his role in the scam.

The CBI’s Special Crime Branch, which is investigating the multi-crore scam, reviewed the situation and noted that disorder created by Trinamool workers posed a security threat to both the investigators and the minister. Sources said that Phanibhusan Karan, the officer in charge of the case, has submitted a report to CBI joint director, Rajiv Singh, that police deployment in and around the court premises  was not only inadequate, they also failed in controlling the agitated mob.

“The idea to shift the case’s venue to some other state came after looking at the rowdy crowd during Mitra’s production in court. We’ve urged West Bengal Police to make better arrangements when he is produced again on December 16. If the situation does not improve on Tuesday, we will have to take a final call on our appeal to move the venue elsewhere,” a senior CBI official said in Kolkata, adding that they have already asked the city and state police to make suitable arrangements for Tuesday.

The matter has also been taken up by Opposition parties with senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan, hoping to move the Supreme Court for a shift in venue. He was instrumental in filing a petition in the Supreme Court, which eventually led the apex court to handover the investigation of the scam to CBI. 

“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party have unleashed a war against CBI to disrupt the probe. This is contempt of court. We’ll move the apex court and seek its intervention so the probe can continue without hindrance. We’ll also seek action against the Trinamool for disrupting court proceedings,” Mannan told reporters. Former state Human Rights Commission chairman, Justice A K Ganguly, is reportedly contemplating a similar move.

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