The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the order of the Calcutta High Court staying criminal proceedings initiated against West Bengal Leader of the Opposition and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari. The Apex Court stated that no coercive action be taken against him and that he cannot be arrested in either existing or future cases without the High Court nod.
The Apex Court refused to hear the petition of the West Bengal government challenging the order of the High Court. Now, Adhikari need not fear arrest in the cases registered against him by the state government.
Justice D. Y. Chandrachud observed that the court could not entertain this for the simple reason that the order of the single judge was challenged under Article 136 before the Supreme Court.
The Court said:
“We had dealt with the challenge to the same judgment which was disposed of on December 13, 2021. The matter was argued at length. What was challenged in the Special Leave Petition was the order of 6 September 2021, the order of the single judge. The order on merits before us was challenged. Where is the question of now filing a Letter patent appeal? We have dealt with the order on merits.”
Earlier in September, the single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court had stayed any coercive action in the criminal cases registered against Suvendu Adhikari by the West Bengal government. The court on September 6 extended interim relief to Adhikari in the context of Crime Investigation Department (CID) summons in connection with the probe into the death of his bodyguard in 2018.
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Challenging this order of the High Court, the West Bengal government had filed a petition in the Supreme Court.
Adhikari, the BJP’s Nandigram MLA, was summoned by the CID questioning in connection with the death of his bodyguard Subhobrata Chakraborty. Chakraborty had allegedly shot himself with his service revolver at the security camp outside Adhikari’s Kanthi residence in October 2018, according to the police.