The Calcutta High Court today asked Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel if he was willing to undergo a narco-analysis test before the Kolkata Police in connection with a case of extortion in which he is an accused.
Directing him to inform the court by November 9 on whether he was open to the test, Justice Debangshu Basak asked the Kolkata Police "not to alter the situation" till then.
Justice Basak noted that the Narada News head had invited investigators to hold a narco test and gave the direction when Samuel's counsel told the court he would have to take instructions from his client in this regard.
Samuel had conducted a sting operation which showed people resembling senior Trinamool Congress leaders receiving money allegedly in exchange for future favours. The sting case is being investigated by the CBI on a Supreme Court order.
Claiming that the Kolkata Police was harassing him in the name of an investigation into an extortion case, Samuel had moved the high court praying that the probe be transferred to the CBI.
Alleging that Samuel was not cooperating with the probe into the case of extortion calls made to a Bihar political leader from a lodge here, Advocate General Kishore Dutta submitted that an accused could not dictate terms on how an investigation had to be carried out.
Dutta submitted that a laptop, mobile phones and SIM cards were recovered from the lodge under the Muchipara police station area earlier this year. These were allegedly used to make the extortion calls and links with Samuel were being probed on specific grounds.
Submitting that the city police had not arrested him in the case though it could in accordance with the law, Dutta produced a letter by the CBI, which, he said, had asked the Kolkata Police not to harass Samuel.
Claiming that the central agency had become a "friend" of Samuel, the AG said, "We have asked the CBI to be present during Samuel's questioning. We have nothing to hide."
Samuel's counsel Bikash Bhattacharya submitted that he was being harassed in the name of the investigation and that he should not be forced to provide any material that he said he did not have.
Bhattacharya claimed the police was insisting on the production of Samuel's personal files which are connected to the CBI investigation into the Narada sting operation.