Narada Sting Operation Case: In Setback To TMC Leaders, CBI Probe To ContinueThe Supreme Court of India (SAJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court today (21 March) extended time given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for conducting preliminary inquiry in the Narada sting operation case. The three-judge bench of the apex court headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Tirath Singh Khehar and comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul said that the CBI investigation would go on against the accused persons in this case.

Kapil Sibal, one of the lawyers for the accused persons, pleaded to the top court for a Special Investigation Team or any other independent investigation, but it was rejected by the apex court.

The CBI yesterday (20 March) registered a preliminary inquiry into the case. As per sources, it also seized laptop and spy cam used by Narada News in their sting operation. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, members of Parliament, police officers and ex-members of Legislative Assembly were also named in its preliminary inquiry.

Earlier on 17 March, the Calcutta High Court ordered a CBI probe into bribery allegations against top Trinamool Congress party parliamentarians and ministers. Reacting to the court's order, Mamata had said that she will appeal against the court order in a "higher judiciary".

In April 2016, the court had formed a three-member committee to probe the controversial tapes.

Narada News, led by its editor-in-chief Matthew Samuel, had earlier released three sets of videos of its sting operation, where top TMC leaders were allegedly seen accepting bribes from journalists posing as businessmen. The ruling party had dismissed the tapes as 'doctored' and said the 'dirty tricks departments' of its political opponents were behind the 'smear' campaign.

The sting operation video was released by the portal on 14 March 2016, just ahead of the West Bengal Assembly election.

With Inputs From ANI.

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