Aug. 29: Calcutta High Court today ordered the re-arrest of Adhir Chowdhury, MP, in a double-murder case in which a trial court had acquitted him.
The Congress leader and 13 others, who had been absolved of all charges on May 21, will have to be produced before the Murshidabad chief judicial magistrate.
“The magistrate will have the liberty to grant them bail,” the division bench of Justices A. Talukdar and A.K. Bhattacharya said.
The government had appealed to the high court against the lower court’s order.
Two members of a gang of five shot dead Hanif Sheikh, 48, and his son, Laltoo, 24, after having a bread-mutton curry meal at Nilufa Hotel.
Hanif, who owned the eatery, was about to close shop when the five ordered the meal. His younger brother Suroj fled through the backdoor as the goons brandished revolvers and took aim across the cash counter.
The MP was charged with plotting the murder.
The division bench today admitted the appeal and asked the prosecution to produce all documents relating to the trial. The re-arrest order was issued on the basis of another application by the state.
Public prosecutor Ashimesh Goswami alleged that the trial judge had failed to go into the details of the case.
“One of the accused, Moktar Sheikh, had given a confessional statement before a magistrate. He said Adhir Chowdhury had masterminded the murders. But Moktar withdrew his statement a few weeks later and alleged that the investigators had forced him to lie,” Goswami said.
Three of the accused — Moktar, Goutam Saha and Amal Gupta — had been arrested by late this evening.
Murshidabad police raided several houses, but did not get hold of the other 10 they were looking for. Chowdhury is in Delhi.
“I was acquitted. But from the developments since, it is clear that the CPM has hatched a conspiracy against me. I have faith in the judiciary,” Chowdhury said over the phone.
“Parliament is in session. If there is no bar to arrest an MP during a session, the police will pick him up from Delhi,” district superintendent of police Rahul Srivastava said.
The police will need the Speaker’s consent to arrest the MP now.