Jabalpur: In a major relief to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson Sambit Patra, the Madhya Pradesh high court on Wednesday stayed further action against him in connection with a case of breach of Model Code of Conduct lodged in Bhopal ahead of the assembly polls. The stay was granted by Justice J P Gupta.
The case was registered at the MP Nagar Bhopal police station against Patra for violating poll code during a press conference held in Bhopal last year over the National Herald building case.
Patra had held a press briefing on the road in front of the NH building and the Congress had alleged the briefing was convened beyond the time limit permitted by the district administration.
Police had filed a challan against Patra under Section 188 of the IPC and the chief judicial magistrate’s court, Bhopal, issued a bailable warrant against him to secure his presence.
An arrest warrant was issued against Patra after the senior BJP leader failed to appear before the court despite summons. Patra had challenged the FIR and the order.
The Election Commission, following a probe, had said blocking a road for a press conference was breach of code of conduct, adding the event did not take place within the permitted time as mentioned by the district returning officer. The EC also had ordered an FIR against Patra.
Meanwhile, the high court’s principal bench in Jabalpur on Wednesday stayed the entire proceedings before the CJM court in Bhopal, Patra’s lawyer Purushendra Kaurav said.
The petitioner, through his lawyer, said police do not have the power to register an FIR on its own. The case under Section 188 IPC can only be registered on a complaint directly made in the court by the officer concerned whose directions were violated.