CBI initiates preliminary enquiry into Narada case

New Delhi: The CBI has initiated a preliminary enquiry into the Narada News sting operation case in which prominent leaders of West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress were purportedly seen taking money in exchange of favours to a fictitious company, an official said on Monday.

The agency's move came following the Calcutta High Court's March 17 order asking the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete its inquiry within 72 hours and also lodge an FIR in the case, if it deemed necessary, following the inquiry.

"We have registered a preliminary enquiry into the Narada News case after the Calcutta High Court's order," CBI sources said. 

The sources said some West Bengal ministers, ex-MLAs and high-ranking state police officers have been named in the CBI's preliminary enquiry. 

"The agency has seized laptops, reports of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory and spy cams used by Narada to do the sting," the sources added. 

The controversy erupted in March last year when Narada News portal uploaded a series of videos purportedly showing a number of high-profile Trinamool leaders, including former and present ministers, MPs and state lawmakers, receiving money in exchange of favours to a fictitious company.

The Narada News footage became a big issue during the 2016 West Bengal Assembly polls, but the Trinamool Congress managed to retain power despite a vigorous anti-corruption campaign by the opposition.