The Calcutta High Court on Monday granted an interim relief to Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari by directing that no coercive action be taken against him and the State had to take leave of the court before arresting him. The court stayed investigation in three of five cases filed against the BJP leader.
Among the cases in which the court granted relief to him is the ‘unnatural’ death of his security guard in 2018. The Criminal Investigation Department of the police had summoned him to appear in the case. He refused to appear before the agency in the day.
A Bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha also stayed the probe into the case first registered in Contai, along with one involving a political clash at Nandigram, and another of gold chain snatching at Panskura — all three places in Purba Medinipur district.
In the two other cases, one of an alleged job scam in Maniktala, Kolkata, and another in which Mr. Adhikari allegedly threatened a police official during a political meeting in Kolkata, investigation could continue, the court said, adding that the police would question him at a time and place of his choosing.
ED quizzes Abhishek
The court order came on a day Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a coal pilferage scam case in Delhi.
The development triggered a political war of words between the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the BJP.
TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that while one leader was facing probe by investigating agencies by appearing before them, another was taking refuge before the court. “In cases where investigations are continuing, police can certainly question Mr. Adhikari and arrest him if needed. Where is the bar on his arrest?,” Mr. Ghosh said.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the government was targeting Mr. Adhikari because the ED had summoned Abhishek Banerjee. The cases against Mr. Adhikari were registered after he joined the BJP in December 2020.