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Suvendu Adhikari’s Contempt Plea Over Denial Of Entry Into Netai Village, Notice Issued To WB DGP: In Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court issued notice to the West Bengal’s Director General of Police, Manoj Malviya and two other IPS officers in a contempt petition filed by BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari for allegedly violating an earlier order by restricting Adhikari from going to Netai village in Jhargram district on January 7, 2022.

In the case of Suvendu Adhikari v. Sri Manoj Malaviya, IPS and others (Writ Petition Appeal No. 129 of 2022), a single judge bench presided over by Honourable Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya noted that in the order dated January 5, 2022, the Court had granted permission to Adhikari to visit Netai village after recording that as citizens of India he as well as his security personnel have the right to not only visit the village but any other place in India, subject to legal restrictions, without violating any provision of law.

Notice was also served on two other IPS officers namely former Jhargram district police superintendent, Biswajit Ghosh and the current Jhargram district additional police superintendent (headquarter), Kalyan Sarkar.

Facts of the Case:

The BJP MLA was en route to meet with the families of the victims of the 2011 massacre, in which CPM activists are accused of opening fire on villagers during the Left-front administration, killing nine people.

The Court stated, “Rather, contrary to the assurance given by the learned Advocate General on behalf of the State, which was given a place of honor given the position of the learned Advocate General as a representative of the State, it was the law enforcement authorities who specifically prevented the pleading Adhikari from visiting Netai despite assurances given by Advocate General S.N. Mookherjee to the contrary.”

The court went on to say that there was no reason for the police to specifically forbid Adhikari from going to Netai village because he was obviously not armed and had not physically threatened the alleged violators.

The Court also rejected the claims that if the BJP MLA had been allowed to visit the village, a mob would have entered, stating that such claims fall under the category of “conjecture and surmise.”

The Court went on to say, “In fact, it is evident from the nature of the pleadings and the video footage as referred to above that the alleged contemnors deliberately prevented and blocked the petitioner at a distance from Netai village from going on to the said village.”

“.. IT IS ORDERED that a Rule do issue calling upon the alleged contemnors as pleaded in contempt application to show cause as to why they should not be committed to prison or otherwise penalized or dealt with for having willfully violated the order dated January 5, 2022 passed by this court in WPA No.129 of 2022,” the court commanded after sending show cause notices to the IPS officers.

The next date of hearing is scheduled for July 28 at 10:30 a.m., and the Court subsequently ordered the contestants to appear in person in court on that date.

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Judgement Reviewed By Manju Molakalapalli.

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