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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Calcutta High Court stays FIR by Sandeshkhali police against ABP Ananda vice-president Suman De

Appearing for De, advocate Ratnanko Banerjee, said it was a fact that his client had provided 'wrong information' during a programme telecast on February 12. De had said that the state government did not oppose the bail prayers of TMC's Uttam Sardar, allegedly a close aide of Sheikh Shahjahan

Tapas Ghosh Calcutta Published 27.02.24, 09:17 AM
Calcutta High Court.

Calcutta High Court. File picture

Justice Kaushik Chanda of Calcutta High Court on Monday stayed for three months the execution of an FIR lodged by Sandeshkhali police that accused senior vice-president of ABP Ananda, Suman De, of provoking common villagers in rioting and attacking the Basirhat subdivisional police officer's office on February 12 by airing fake news.

The judge asked De to give his clarification, as he had desired to give the police, within seven days and asked the state to inform De about its reply to the clarification. The matter will come up for hearing in the high court after eight weeks.

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Appearing for De, advocate Ratnanko Banerjee, said it was a fact that his client had provided "wrong information" during a television programme telecast on February 12.

De, during the programme, said that the state government did not oppose the bail prayers of Trinamul's Uttam Sardar, allegedly a close aide of absconding Trinamul strongman Sheikh Shahjahan.

De's counsel argued that the mistake was an error without any mala fide intention as it was rectified multiple times and repeated apologies were made.

"As desired by the police, on February 13 my client tendered unconditional apology in his show Ghantakhanek Sange Suman. Even then criminal case under Section 153 IPC and 505 IPC was started against him," the lawyer said seeking quashing of the FIR.

Appearing for the state, advocate Umesh Banerjee claimed that following the fake news, hundreds of alleged victims of atrocities by Shahjahan and his aides attacked the SDPO's office.

"Considering the gravity of the offence, the police took the action," Banerjee said.

During the hearing of the case last Friday, the judge had asked the state for proof to link the alleged rioting and the news.

"The counsel for the state has failed to satisfy the court," the judge said.

The judge also observed that apparently it seemed that the FIR was baseless and stayed the operation of the FIR for three months.

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