CBI opposes pre-arrest bail plea of Mamata’s poll agent, SC reserves judgment

The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its order on a plea filed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s election agent S.K. Supiyan seeking pre-arrest bail in a murder case probed by the CBI.

A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Abhay S. Oka reserved the judgment after hearing arguments on the plea moved by Supiyan against the Calcutta High Court order, which refused to entertain his bail plea. Last month, the top court had granted him interim protection from arrest in the matter.

The CBI, in its affidavit opposing the pre-arrest bail plea of Supiyan in connection with the alleged murder of a BJP supporter after poll results were declared, said he hatched a criminal conspiracy to teach a lesson to Hindus, who voted for BJP resulting in loss of Bannerjee in Nandigram Assembly constituency. The agency claimed that Supiyan allegedly carried out violent attacks on local villagers, causing the death of Debabrata Maity.

The affidavit said: “As per the records of the investigations conducted so far, all of this was done by the petitioner to send a political message that any political opposition would be punished with death, grievous injuries and with extreme mental trauma. It is submitted that the aforesaid acts of commission constitute heinous offences against the society and destroys the very fabric of the body polity of the state.”

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Supiyan, argued that his client’s name was not mentioned either in the FIR registered by the authorities in May last year, or in the complaint and also, he was not named in the charge sheets filed by the CBI.

Citing a witness who named his client, Sibal submitted that he was not even on the list of witnesses, and has given a completely different picture of the incident in comparison to the statements made by other witnesses. He argued that this witness was planted, proving that the case against his client was purely political and completely malafide on the part of authorities.

Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, appearing for the CBI, submitted that Supiyan has been running away from the investigation, after being served several notices to appear before the investigation authorities. He insisted that he had not cooperated with the investigation.

Banerjee, who had contested from Nandigram, lost the election to her former aide-turned-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Suvendu Adhikari. The Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe into various incidents of killings and sexual assault, which occurred in the state after election results were declared.

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