Kolkata: The CBI told the Calcutta high court on Friday that it needed at least another three months to conclude its probe in the Narada sting operation case.
The agency filed a progress report in the investigation in the case before the court on Friday.
After hearing the CBI counsel’s submissions, Justice Joymalyo Bagchi directed the central probe agency to file another report after six weeks, stating the progress made in the probe.
CBI counsel Amajit De submitted that efforts were on to access the contents of an iPhone, which was allegedly used to carry out the sting operation, and the agency would require at least another three months to conclude the probe.
Justice Bagchi was hearing a petition filed by Trinamul Congress (TMC) MP Aparupa Poddar, seeking quashing of an FIR against her, claiming that she was not an elected representative when the alleged video was shot and as such the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act were not applicable against her.
In the sting operation, which was claimed to have been carried out in 2014, some persons resembling senior TMC leaders are seen accepting money from the representatives of a fictitious company in return for favours.
The CBI had booked 12 top TMC leaders, including MPs and West Bengal ministers, and an IPS officer in connection with the case.
An FIR was lodged for alleged criminal conspiracy under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with bribery and criminal misconduct.
The maximum sentence for these crimes ranges from five to seven years of imprisonment.
Those against whom the CBI has registered the FIR include Mukul Roy, who is now in the BJP, and TMC Lok Sabha MPs Saugata Roy, Poddar, Prasun Banerjee and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar.
West Bengal ministers, including Firhad Hakim, Suvendu Adhikari, Sovan Chatterjee and Subrata Mukherjee, have also been named in the FIR.
Former state minister Madan Mitra, MLA Iqbal Ahmed and IPS officer Saiyaad Mustafa Hussain Mirza have also been named as accused in the case. The sting operation was carried out by the editor of web portal Naradanews.Com, Mathew Samuel, who claimed to have used an iPhone for the purpose. The contents of the phone were subsequently transferred to a laptop and stored in a pen drive.