New Delhi: Expressing its strong displeasure, the Supreme Court has thrown out a petition by a member of the BJP’s youth wing in West Bengal, Yogesh Varshney, who had allegedly announced a bounty of Rs 11 lakh on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's head.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi dismissed Varshney's plea to stay his prosecution in connection with the case. The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, further refused to entertain his request to transfer all FIRs to one court.
As soon as Varshney's lawyer stood up to argue the matter, Justice Gupta said that the alleged statements about bounty on a chief minister's head is a serious matter. "If you have the guts to threaten someone, then have the guts to face the charges too," said the judge.
Justice Gupta added: "You threaten a constitutional authority, put a bounty on her head and then want us to help you. We don't hear such people."
The court then dismissed the transfer petition, and suggested the lawyer should not argue further if he does not wish the court to issue some more adverse remarks against his client.
Varshney, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, had in April 2017 reportedly issued the threat while hitting out at the Chief Minister over police action on a rally held to mark Hanuman Jayanti in Birbhum, around 180km from Kolkata.
Alleging that people were beaten up brutally in a baton-charge by the police, the youth leader described the Chief Minister as a "demon" and said, "When I saw the video, I only had one thought... that if anyone gets me Mamata Banerjee's head I will give them 11 lakh."
The matter had echoed on in Parliament as well when several parties criticised Varshney's open threat. The BJP, however, opted to distance itself from Varshney's comments, stating that the West Bengal government is free to take action against him in accordance with the law.