The high court ordered to stay further investigation into the FIR by way of ad-interim relief. Authorities were also instructed to not arrest the Bhattacharjee. (Representational Image)
The Tripura High Court has stayed investigation on an FIR accusing a man of his social media post relating to the toll-free number released by the BJP to extend support to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and has asked the authorities not to arrest him for the time being.
Arindam Bhattacharjee, who claims to be an IT cell executive of the Congress party, wrote in a Facebook post on January 4 that all saved data in a user's mobile will go to the hackers if they call on the said number.
Following this, BJP state media in-charge Victor Shome filed an FIR with West Agartala Police Station and accused Bhattacharjee of spreading misinformation.
While many people have tried to boost missed calls on the number by wanton allurances including free Netflix recharges and free internet data, Shome claimed in his FIR that CAA is an important issue and so, the claim of data theft is a very serious allegation and is a question on the role of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Subsequently, Tripura Police arrested Bhattacharjee but he was released on bail. He went on to file a criminal petition application under section 482 CrPC and sought to quash the FIR citing dearth of substance.
In an order issued on January 10, Tripura High Court Chief Justice A K Qureshi said, “In my opinion, there are prima facie grounds for examining further into the matter. A serious question would be, even if the allegations made in the complaint are taken on their face value, can it be stated that any of the above-mentioned offences are made out?”
The high court ordered to stay further investigation into the FIR by way of ad-interim relief. Authorities were also instructed to not arrest the Bhattacharjee.
Meanwhile, the state Congress Sunday distanced itself from the matter and claimed Bhattacharjee doesn’t hold any post of the party, organisational or related to the IT Cell.
“It has come to our notice that Arindam Bhattacharjee has claimed himself as IT cell spokesperson of the Congress party. This is not true. He is not in any position of our party, neither is he associated with the party’s IT Cell," acting state Congress president Pijush Kanti Biswas told media this evening.
Shome, however, claimed Bhattacharjee is indeed Congress IT Cell in-charge and has propagated the Congress party’s ‘political stand’.
“CAA is an important issue. So, this statement of data theft is a very serious allegation and this is a question on the MHA. This is very different from Netflix recharge and it might cause public panic. I am happy that the High Court has admitted that this issue merits investigation. I'm am looking forward to the final outcome," Shome said.