CBI withdraws Supreme Court appeal opposing TMC leaders' house arrest
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday withdrew its appeal in the Supreme Court against a Calcutta High Court order allowing the house arrest of four leaders of the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The TMC leaders were arrested in connection with the Narada bribery case. The apex court also allowed the probing agency to raise all its grievances in the HC.
A vacation bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai was hearing the petition filed by the CBI. The bench noted that a five-judge bench of the Calcutta HC is already hearing the Narada bribery case. It hence allowed the CBI, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, to withdraw its appeal and raise grievances in the HC.
According to Bar and Bench, the SC noted that the HC is hearing the case adding, "Permission is sought to withdraw the plea and raise all such issues before the high court. All other contentions remain open." "All other parties shall also have liberty to raise such contentions before the high court. It is clarified that we are not passing any order on merits."
In an order dated May 21, the HC had allowed Transport and Housing Minister Firhad Hakim; Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee; MLA and former minister Madan Mitra; and former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee (all from the TMC) the benefit of house arrest instead of being held in jail under judicial custody. The four were arrested by the CBI last Monday in the bribery case.
The May 21 order, issued by the Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, had rejected interim bail to the four leaders. SG Mehta had asked the HC to adjourn the matter on grounds of the CBI's special leave petition before the SC. The five-judge bench of the HC also heard the case on May 24. It had rejected the CBI's plea to adjourn the matter.