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High Court stays judge’s order asking Bengal’s police chief to appear before him

Calcutta, Apr 11 (PTI): A Calcutta High Court division bench on Friday stayed a judge’s order asking the state’s police chief to appear before it and passing caustic observations against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in connection with a panchayat member’s murder in which some ruling Trinamool Congress leaders are accused.

A division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi stayed proceedings of the case before the court of Justice Dipankar Dutta for three weeks on an appeal by the West Bengal government.

Appearing for the state, government pleader Ashok Banerjee submitted that Justice Dutta had made the observations on the basis of newspaper reports and pictures without verifying the content.

He also stated that there was no requirement for the DGP of the state police to appear before the court as he has been submitting reports on the investigation before the court.

Counsel for Hridoy Ghosh, son of the slain Sagar Ghosh, opposed the prayers.

The bench, after hearing the submissions, said that the trial court has taken judicial notice and made the observations without basis and reason for doing so was not mentioned in the order.

The division bench also called for all records in connection with the matter from the trial court.

The matter will appear before the court in the first week of May.

On Thursday, Justice Dutta had expressed anguish over photos showing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sharing a dais with TMC leader Anubrata Mondal, who is an accused in the murder of Sagar Ghosh, and had directed the director general of police to appear before it to clarify why action was not taken against him.

Showing the state counsel the newspaper photos of Mondal and Mamata sharing a dais, Justice Dipankar Dutta had asked what message was being conveyed by this.

Questioning whether Mondal enjoyed the patronage of the chief minister, Justice Dutta observed if that was so, then how would the DGP show the courage to arrest him.

Justice Dutta had on April 7 asked the DGP to act on alleged inflammatory statements made by Mondal in connection with the murder of Sagar Dutta at Parui in July 2013.

Mondal is one of the 41 persons accused in the murder case.


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