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19 Apr 2017

CBI gears up for quiz

KINSUK BASU, TT, Calcutta, April 18:The CBI is preparing questionnaires to examine each of the 12 Trinamul leaders and an IPS officer named by the agency in its FIR yesterday, sources said.
According to senior officers, the questions would focus on three things - the conversation between the Trinamul leaders and Santosh, the name assumed by Narada chief Mathew Samuel in the footage, the promises made against the alleged receipt of cash and whether higher-ups in the party were aware of the "gratification" assured by the accused.
"Preliminary enquiry conducted by the CBI's ACB (anti corruption branch) Kolkata .... has revealed prima facie material showing that Mukul Roy (A-1) (A stands for accused), Madan Mitra (A-2), Sultan Ahmed (A-3), Iqbal Ahmed (A-4), Firhad Hakim (A-5), Saugata Roy (A-6), Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar (A-7), Prasun Banerjee (A-8) Subhendu Adhikari (A-9), Sovan Chatterjee (A-10), Subrata Mukherjee (A-11) and Syed Md. Hussain Meerza (A-12) while functioning as public servants and Smt Aparupa Poddar (A-13) expecting to be a public servant, had either accepted or agreed to accept illegal gratification from Mathew Samuel (Sting Operator) for showing favour to him/his firm (M/S Impex Consultancy)," page 9 of the FIR states.
Officers associated with the case said that over the next 48 hours, a team would prepare a file containing specific questions for each of the 12 Trinamul leaders.
A separate questionnaire would be drawn up for S.M.H. Meerza, the then police superintendent of police in Burdwan, on the basis of the conversation dated April 25 and 27, 2014.
"The Prevention of Corruption Act clearly defines a public servant. Here, the basic premise of the case is corruption by public servants," a CBI officer said.
"During the examination, we would like to know the extent of the gratification that was either assured or delivered and the level of corruption involved," the officer added.
Asked for instances, the officers said they would like to question Trinamul MP Prasun Banerjee on what he had meant when he assured Santosh that he would help him with his "future business endeavour". The CBI FIR says Prasun accepted Rs 4 lakh from Santosh.
For Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar too, sources said the CBI would like the Trinamul MP from Barasat to clarify what sort of help she would have offered to the "sting operator" after allegedly accepting Rs 5 lakh.
In the footage, CBI sources said, Ghosh Dastidar was heard saying she had a "prior discussion" with Sultan Ahmed.
Ghosh Dastidar, a doctor with post-graduate training in obstetric ultrasound, could also be asked to explain what conversation she had had with Sultan Ahmed before interacting with Santosh in the footage and if Sultan had given an introduction of Santosh before his visit.
"Even with Iqbal Ahmed, we would like to know why he had called Sultan Ahmed to inform that Santosh had come with the money for him. We have to find out what the common link is," the CBI officer said. "We would also like to know from Iqbal Ahmed why he had collected Rs 1 lakh on behalf of Subrata Mukherjee while receiving Rs 5 lakh for himself."
The insiders said each of the 12 Trinamul leaders could be called to the Calcutta office of the CBI's anti-corruption branch for examination.
An officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police is likely to lead the team that would question the Trinamul leaders.

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