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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Suvendu Adhikari, the Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal assembly, has been named in the FIR in three cases, including the death of his bodyguard.
  • The Calcutta High Court on Monday ordered a stay of proceedings in these three cases against Adhikari and also said that no coercive action can be taken against him.

CASE BACKGROUND

  • Subhabrata Chakraborty, a jawan in Army worked for Suvendu Adhikari for more than 6 years. In 2018, he was grievously injured in the police barracks of Contai. He passed away at the private hospital the following day.
  • The other two cases, involved snatching registered at Panshkura, and the Nandigram poll-violence case.
  • Adhikari filed a petition seeking the court's intervention in criminal proceedings filed against him by the state police or ordering transfer of investigation of the cases to the CBI.
  • He claimed that these cases are politically motivated and complained of abuse of police machinery in registering FIRs against him.
  • It was also submitted that these cases were lodged against him after he left the ruling Trinamool Congress and joined the BJP.

COURT’S DIRECTIONS

  • The court observed that there certainly exists a reasonable apprehension that the State police machinery is being misused to initiate malicious prosecution against Adhikari.
  • Article 21 of the Constitution safeguards the rights of an accused against arbitrary arrests.
  • Court directed that investigating authorities shall accommodate Adhikari. If he is required to give a statement, it can be given from a place convenient to him.
  • Adhikari was not a named accused in the cases filed in Contai and Maniktala police stations, the court directed that no coercive action can be taken against him in connection with these. However, investigation would continue.
  • The case at Contai, Nandigram and Panshkura stations were stayed.

ORDER OF THE COURT

  • Court granted interim relief to Suvendu Adhikari in the context of CID summons in connection with the probe into the death of his bodyguard.
  • Court ordered that the state will have to obtain permission from the court before arresting him or taking any coercive action against him in all such cases.

Hope you found this legal news update interesting. Let us know your opinions about the case and answers to following questions in the comments section- (Sixth slide)

  • Which right do you think safeguards accused against arbitrary arrests?
  • What do you think malicious prosecution means?
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