SC grants interim protection to BJP leaders facing criminal cases in WB

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New Delhi, Dec 18 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim protection to five BJP leaders, including Mukul Roy and MPs Kailash Vijayvargiya and Arjun Singh, in criminal cases lodged against them in West Bengal and directed the state police not to taken any coercive action.

A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul sought response from the West Bengal government on five separate pleas filed by BJP leaders alleging foisting of criminal cases to deter them from political activities and said interim protection from coercive action will continue till the next date of hearing.

The bench also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy posted the batch of pleas for further hearing in the second week of January.

Besides Roy, Vijayvargiya and Singh, two other BJP leaders Sourav Singh and Pawan Kumar Singh have moved the apex court for protection in cases lodged against them in the state.

While granting protection to these five leaders, the bench directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to submit in a sealed cover a report regarding alleged scuffle between TMC workers and security staff of West Bengal BJP leader Kabir Shankar Bose, who has filed a separate plea in the apex court.

During the hearing, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for petitioner Arjun Singh said that 64 criminal cases have been filed against the BJP leader in 2019 after he had joined Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leaving Trinmool Congress party.

“I am an MP and these cases have been filed after I left TMC,” Rohatgi said, adding, “The first case against Arjun Singh was registered on March 24, 2019 after he left the TMC”.

Vijayvargiya’s counsel told the bench that the BJP leader is an MP from Madhya Pradesh and false cases have been lodged against him in West Bengal.

“I am an MP from Madhya Pradesh and just because I am going to West Bengal due to some party works, false cases have been filed against me,” Vijayvargiya’s counsel said.

The BJP leaders have also sought investigation by an independent agency into the cases registered against them in West Bengal. PTI SJK MNL ABA MNL RKS RKS