regular-article-logo Tuesday, 26 September 2023

SC declines stay on Calcutta HC order transferring probe into incidents of violence during Ram Navami to NIA

The anti-terror probe agency has registered the case following a high court order

PTI New Delhi Published 20.05.23, 05:30 AM
The Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court. File picture 

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the order of Calcutta High Court handing over the probe into incidents of violence during Ram Navami celebrations in Bengal to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

A bench of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices P.S. Narasimha and K.V. Viswanathan deferred the hearing on the plea of the Bengal government challenging the high court order till after the summer vacation.


“We have not stayed the high court order and will take up the matter after summer vacation in the month of July,’’ the bench told solicitor general Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the NIA.

The anti-terror probe agency has registered the case following a high court order.

During the hearing, senior advocates Abhishek Singhvi and Gopal Sankaranaraynan, representing the Bengal government, said the high court had in its order referred to only one FIR related to the Chandernagore incident.

“We have instructions that the court may allow the probe of Chandernagore FIR to be done by the NIA but rest five FIRs be allowed to be investigated by the state police,” Sankaranaraynan said.

Singhvi said the NIA couldn’t be brought in for ordinary cases of violence unless it affected the country’s security or sovereignty. He has said the NIA has a clear bar and it cannot be brought in just because someone says bombs might have been used in an incident.

“Either summoning of police officials by the NIA be stayed or the high court order be stayed till this court has adjudicated the appeal of the state finally,” he said.

The bench told Singhvi and Sankaranaraynan: “Assuming that the high court has referred to one FIR but all these incidents are part and parcel of the same transactions. Police used tear gas to control the situation and the high court has applied its mind that there is enough material to refer it to the NIA.”

The bench said pursuant to the direction of the high court, the investigation has been transferred and it is not a case where this court stultifies everything.

Mehta said the NIA had registered a case and, when the probe agency wrote to the state government to hand over the papers, it was told to wait for the decision of the apex court as it has challenged the order of the high court.

“Kindly clarify the position as we have registered the case,” he urged the bench.

Justice Chandrachud said the apex court had not stayed the order of the high court. The bench deferred the hearing post summer vacation from May 22 to July 2.

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