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Calcutta HC stays further probe in 47 FIRs against BJP workers in Nandigram

The court asked the state government to file its rejoinder on the allegation of malafide intention in filing of the complaints against them.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 16:21 IST

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Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday ordered an interim stay on further investigation into 47 FIRs lodged against some BJP workers, immediately before and after the Lok Sabha elections in Tamluk in West Bengal's Purba Medinipur district.

The court asked the state government to file its rejoinder on the allegation of malafide intention in filing of the complaints against them.

It also said that since the preliminary investigation into the FIRs must have been completed by this time as these were lodged nearly a month back, further probe into the matter by the police is not required at this stage.

Maintaining that a decision on the petition can be arrived at after giving the West Bengal government an opportunity to file an affidavit in opposition stating its position on the allegation that the FIRs were filed with malafide intention, Justice Amrita Sinha directed the state to file its response to the averments made in the petition within a week.

The petitioners - Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari and nine others - were directed to file their reply in opposition to the state's rejoinder within another week after that.

The court directed that the matter be mentioned before it for further hearing immediately after filing of the affidavits.

The petition was moved by Adhikari and the nine others owing allegiance to the BJP, claiming that 47 FIRs were filed against these nine saffron party workers at Nandigram police station in Purba Medinipur district in a span of just 40 days, before and after the Lok Sabha polls in Tamluk constituency.

The court noted that the FIRs were registered allegedly on the basis of complaints by one Basir Ahmed.

Holding that the local police must have made the necessary preliminary probe, the court said that whether the investigation will continue or not will depend upon the fate of the petition.

The petitioners' lawyers claimed that the complaints of assault and intimidation of ruling Trinamool Congress workers were false and lodged with malafide intention owing to political rivalry between the supporters of the ruling party in the state and the opposition party.

Apprehending that they may be arrested in connection with these cases, the petitioners prayed for quashing of the FIRs or alternatively an order of investigation into the complaints by an agency other than the state police.

Representing the state, Advocate General Kishore Dutta claimed that the allegations of the petitioners were not true.

He stated that Adhikari had been given protection by the high court in a different petition earlier, vide which no FIR can be registered against him without permission of the court, and as such he does not stand on the same footing with the other nine petitioners, against whom FIRs were lodged at Nandigram police station.

Dutta also claimed that no ground had been put forth by the petitioners for the transfer of the investigation to a different agency.

The AG stated that an investigation of the FIRs is in progress and that there is no instance of indiscriminate arrests.

The advocate general informed the court that among the nine petitioners, only one accused has been arrested, while two others are on the run.

The petitioners claimed that the complaints were filed just before and after the Lok Sabha elections in Purba Medinipur district and that all these stemmed from political rivalry.

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Published 02 July 2024, 16:21 IST

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