The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Bengal government to file an affidavit on the arrest of BJP leader Jitendra Kumar Tiwari, who according to his counsel had been “kidnapped” from Noida in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.
The former Asansol mayor had been arrested in connection with the deaths of three persons in a stampede during a blanket distribution event in Asansol on December 14 last year.
The court stayed the arrest of two Asansol BJP councillors — Gaurab Gupta and Tej Pratap Singh — who were named as accused in the same case.
A bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice J.K. Maheshwari passed the order after two senior counsels — Sidharth Luthra and P.S. Patwalia — complained that Tiwari had been “kidnapped” from Noida on Saturday and taken to Bengal even though his bail plea was pending before the Supreme Court.
Patwalia told the court that earlier, the matter had been listed before another bench but could not be taken up on account of which it was listed for hearing on Monday.
The senior counsel also sought the BJP leader’s immediate release.
State’s standing counsel Astha Sharma sought a passover, saying that senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, who was to appear for Bengal, was busy in another court. However, the bench proceeded with the hearing and asked the Bengal government to file an affidavit regarding the arrest of Tiwari within two weeks.
The court also issued a stay on the arrests Gupta and Singh but asked them to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.
According to Bengal police, Tiwari was arrested by the special investigation team of Asansol police from Jamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida on Saturday.
Based on the information that Tiwari, former Asansol mayor, and his wife Chaitali, also a BJP leader and the leader of the Opposition at the Asansol Municipal Corporation, were in Delhi, the SIT, which comprised personnel from the Asansol-Durgapur Police Commissionerate, had gone to the national capital earlier last week.
The SIT intercepted Tiwari on Delhi-Yamuna Expressway on Saturday afternoon. A source in Lucknow police said Tiwari was heading for Agra.