The Calcutta High Court order directing a CBI investigation into the alleged attack on Union Minister Nisith Pramanik’s convoy during a visit to his constituency in Bengal in February was today set aside by the Supreme Court. The top court added that the High Court did not apply its mind to the entire material given by the state government.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala took note of an additional affidavit of the West Bengal Police on the status of the probe, and asked the high court to look afresh into the material and decide whether a CBI probe was needed.
The order of the Calcutta High Court had been passed by a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court – led by former Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava, who has now retired – on a petition filed by BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari.
Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi ,appearing on behalf of the West Bengal Government, told the court during arguments that the High Court did not give the state a chance to investigate. He pointed out a petition was filed in the High Court within two days of the incident and the decision came within a month. He also argued that the High Court ignored the status report of the police that action has been taken by the police.
Mr Singhvi also argued that the High Court should have listened to the state police and informed the court that the state government was neither aware of the route of the Union Minister’s convoy nor was his meeting approved by the administration. He also said that the High Court did not consider the fact that the police had arrested 21 people in the case.
The petitioner, Suvendu Adhikari, had argued that the police did not act properly and even the CISF’s complaint, which is in charge of the minister’s security, was not registered.
“Since it is sub judice it is not right to speak on the specifics of the case but what I will say is that the moral arc of the universe is long but and it bends towards justice. Ultimately, sooner or later, what is fair and what is just does come through,” Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra told reporters.
Mr Pramanik, an MP from Cooch Behar, was on his way to the BJP’s local office in the area when the attack took place.
“For the BJP going to court is not an attempt to seek justice. It is to prove a political point. Oh, you’re doing this so I am going to court. It’s just a game of one-upmanship. So that game of one-upmanship sooner or later, falters somewhere or the other. This is probably one of those instances,” Mahua Moitra added.