West Bengal: SC declines state’s plea challenging protection of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari from any arrest

News Desk: The Supreme Court on Monday declined a plea of the West Bengal government challenging the order of the single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court protecting BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari from any coercive action in criminal cases registered against him by the state police.

A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna told the West Bengal government’s counsel that it has already dealt with a similar matter earlier.

“Parties would be governed by the order which was passed by this court on 13 December 2021. In view of the above clarification, it is not necessary or appropriate to entertain the present special leave petition”.

On December 13, 2021, the apex court had declined to entertain a plea by the State government challenging the Calcutta High Court decision to protect Adhikari from arrest in cases registered against him, after he switched from TMC to BJP.

Adhikari was accused of hooliganism, gathering an unlawful assembly, and violation of Covid-19 guidelines, amongst other things. The State government had claimed that merely because the complaints were made after he made the switch from TMC to BJP, they cannot be said to be malicious.

The top court on December 13 while refusing to interfere with the High Court order which restrained police from taking any coercive action against him, had said it is open for the state of West Bengal to file an affidavit before the High court and seek an expeditious hearing.

Adhikari had earlier moved the High Court alleging that the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government was abusing the police machinery by registering six FIRs against him in four different police stations.

The victimization and harassment by the West Bengal government had started immediately after he changed political allegiance in December 2020, BJP leader Adhikari had said.

The High Court in September 2021 while granting interim protection to Adhikari had observed that the West Bengal government was attempting to implicate and victimize Adhikari by filing criminal cases against him.