Suvendu Adhikari gets protection from arrest as Calcutta HC says police can’t take ‘coercive action’ against him

Suvendu Adhikari gets protection from arrest as Calcutta HC says police can’t take ‘coercive action’ against him

Hummingbird News Desk

KOLKATA, 6 SEP: In a big relief for Leader of Opposition (LoP) in West Bengal Suvendu Adhikari, a single bench of the Calcutta High Court on Monday directed that “no coercive action” can be taken against him in connection with two police cases filed against him. The HC also stayed three other cases lodged by the West Bengal Police, including the one pertaining to the death of his bodyguard in 2018.

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While reacting to a question, Mr Adhikari’s lawyer, Billwadal Bhattacharyya, said, “As per the order, Calcutta High Court put a stay on three cases. In other two cases, the court has directed ‘no coercive action’ against him. The court also said that he cannot be arrested. However, the investigation can continue and the investigating officer shall accommodate him as per his convenience.”

While hearing the matter, based on Mr Adhikari’s plea before the court, Justice Rajasekhar Mantha questioned the advocate, who appeared on behalf of the CID that suddenly what evidence cropped up that forced the CID to reopen the case. “What happened suddenly that she (wife) suspected foul play? What evidence the investigating agency got suddenly that they reopened the case? The police must clear all these queries before the court and till then, no coercive action can be taken against him (Adhikari),” the high court observed.

The order came on a day Mr Adhikari’s political rival, Trinamul leader Abhishek Banerjee, appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in New Delhi in a case of money laundering related to coal theft. His questioning began around 11 am and went on it till at least 5 pm when reports last came in.

Mr Adhikari, on the other hand, declined to go to the Criminal Investigation Department of West Bengal Police where he was to appear today in a 2018 case of unnatural death of one of his security staff, which is now being probed as a potential murder case.

The court has stayed the probe into the case first registered in Contai, along with one involving a political clash at Nandigram and another of gold chain snatching at Panskura — all three places in East Midnapore district of West Bengal.

Two other cases, including one involving an alleged job scam in Maniktala, Kolkata, and another in which Mr Adhikari allegedly threatened a police official over a political meeting held in violation of the Disaster Management Act in Tamluk of East Midnapore.

On October 13, 2018, Mr Adhikari’s bodyguard Subhabrata Chakraborty allegedly shot himself dead with his service revolver inside the barracks, which is located beside Mr Adhikari’s house at Contai in West Midnapore district.

On July 9, his wife Suparna Kanjilal Chakraborty filed a fresh police complaint sensing foul play behind her husband’s death. She raised suspicion over police claims in 2018 and, therefore, the case was reopened.

Reacting to the HC order, BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said, “We welcome the court’s order and this proves that the ruling TMC has indulged in vindictive politics.”

Tapas Roy, the deputy chief whip of TMC in the state assembly, however, refused to make any comment in this matter.

Meanwhile, the CID has decided to challenge the single-bench order before the division bench. Earlier on Monday, Mr Adhikari officially informed the CID through e-mail that he will not be able to appear before them in connection with the death of his bodyguard. He has cited a couple of reasons for his absence, which includes his prior political engagements (in Bankura) and he also said the matter as sub-judice.

Tags: #SuvenduAdhikari #CalcuttaHighCourt #CoerciveAction #CID

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