Calcutta HC’s protection to Suvendu Adhikari against FIRs challenged

An petitioner on Monday moved the Calcutta High Court challenging the orders of its single-judge bench giving protection to Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari against past and future FIRs.

On December 8 this year, a single-judge bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha had put a stay on all the past 25 FIRs filed against Adhikari at different police stations in the state. At the same time, he also barred the state police from filing any fresh FIR against the leader of the opposition without prior approval of the court.

Advocate Abu Sohel approached the division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj challenging the decisions of Justice Mantha, and it has admitted his petition.

The petitioner has mentioned that he is a party in a case filed at Nandakumar Police Station in East Midnapore district, where an FIR was filed against Adhikari, and the single-judge bench’s order giving Adhikari protection was passed without hearing his side.

Adhikari had approached the high court seeking protection against so many FIRs filed against him in different police stations despite the Calcutta High Court earlier giving him protection from coercive actions. He sought that either these FIRs should be dismissed or they should be probed by an independent agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Justice Mantha, while putting a stay on the previous 26 FIRs as well barring the state police from filing future FIRs without the court’s approval, observed that Adhikari is the Leader of the Opposition elected by the people and under such circumstances, the police, either on its own or under the instruction of anybody, cannot take steps to halt his actions. He also observed that the court cannot overlook the apprehension of the leader of the opposition.




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