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High court relief for Suvendu Adhikari in criminal cases

The Opposition leader had been interrogated by the CID at its headquarters at regular intervals in a case of unnatural death of his security personnel
Suvendu Adhikari.
Suvendu Adhikari.
File picture

Tapas Ghosh   |   Calcutta   |   Published 07.09.21, 02:11 AM

Calcutta High Court on Monday directed investigators not to take coercive measures against Opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari or arrest him in connection with five criminal cases lodged against him by the state authorities since his defection from the Trinamul Congress to the BJP in December last year.

The breather for Adhikari has come from Justice Rajasekhar Mantha.

Adhikari had been interrogated by the state-run probe agency, the CID, at its headquarters at regular intervals in a case of unnatural death of one of his security personnel (in Contai).

The state government, sources said, plans to challenge the order before a division bench within a couple of days.

In the past few months, five criminal cases were initiated against Adhikari, at Contai, Nandigram, Panskura and Tamluk in East Midnapore and Maniktala in Calcutta.

The judge stayed any criminal proceedings against Adhikari in three criminal cases. With regard to two criminal cases at Contai and Maniktala, the order stated that any action against Adhikari was subject to the prior approval of the court.

The case over the murder of Adhikari’s security guard drew special attention of the court as Justice Mantha asked advocate-general Kishore Datta why the police had not acted against Adhikari if the crime had been committed two-and-a-half years ago. Datta replied that a member of the victim’s family lodged the case against Adhikari two-and-a-half years after the murder.

Appearing for Adhikari, Billwadal Bhattacharyya and Kallol Mondal had argued that all the cases against their client had been lodged out of political grudge.

“Soon after he left the Trinamul Congress and joined the BJP, Trinamul has started lodging one criminal case after another against him. The incidents in which our client was implicated were said to have occurred before December 2020 when he was a minister of the Trinamul-led government,” said Bhattacharyya.

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