Narada sting: Arrest of TMC leaders attempt to browbeat Mamata, says Cong leader Ashwini Kumar

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New Delhi, May 17 (PTI) Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Ashwani Kumar on Monday termed the arrest of TMC leaders by CBI in Narada sting case a 'brazen attempt' to browbeat West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after her triumphant victory in the recent assembly polls.

'The imprint of partisan politics is writ large in the blatant abuse of prosecutorial processes by the CBI against political adversaries of the ruling BJP,' he said in a statement.

Kumar said detention of the accused militates against recent judgments of the Supreme Court that scoffs at routine incarceration of political activists.

'The insistence by the CBI on detaining the accused who are public men of high standing and not expected to tamper with the course of justice, is clearly an abuse of authority,' he asserted.

The former law minister added that depriving the citizens of their fundamental liberties is clearly against the first principles of the country’s libertarian constitution.

'Bail and not jail is the fundamental tenet of our criminal and libertarian jurisprudence. The CBI's insistence on custody of the accused is therefore, wholly unsustainable in law. The manner of exercise of power of law enforcement in a democracy is accountable to constitutional imperatives. And it is important that justice is not only done but is also seen to be done,” he said.

Two TMC ministers and an MLA along with a former party leader were on Monday arrested and charge-sheeted by the CBI in the Narada sting case, amid a high-voltage political drama in West Bengal that saw Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sitting on a dharna at the probe agency's office for six hours as her party supporters besieged the premises and indulged in violent protests in several parts of the state.

A special court later granted bail to the leaders -- state ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, TMC MLA Madan Mitra, and former TMC leader and erstwhile Mayor of Kolkatta Sovan Chatterjee.

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