Relying of SC’s Order in Arvind Kejriwal Case Calcutta HC Grants Interim Relief to BJP Candidate Abhijit Gangopadhyay

The Calcutta High Court has granted interim relief to Abhijit Gangopadhyay, a former judge and BJP Lok Sabha candidate, in connection with an FIR accusing him of assaulting protesting teachers in Tamluk. These teachers had lost their jobs due to a previous High Court order and were protesting when the alleged incident occurred during a BJP rally.

In his decision, Justice Tirthankar Ghosh referenced the Supreme Court’s recent order granting interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The Supreme Court had noted the significance of allowing candidates to participate in the general elections, highlighting the involvement of hundreds of millions of voters in selecting the government.

The bench noted, “The observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Arvind Kejriwal (vs. Directorate of Enforcement) apply here as well, considering the petitioner is a candidate from the 30-Tamluk Parliamentary Constituency.”

Gangopadhyay’s counsel argued that while he was named in the FIR, no specific role was attributed to him. In contrast, the Advocate General for the State contended that the petitioners had admitted the occurrence of the incident and that the police were justified in registering the FIR based on the initial allegations.

The court acknowledged that the police must determine whether a cognizable offense has occurred, which may be clarified during the investigation. Given the importance of the upcoming elections, the court decided to stay the FIR proceedings until June 14 and directed the state to submit its opposition affidavit.

Initially, Gangopadhyay’s plea was to be heard by Justice Jay Sengupta, who recused himself due to personal connections with Gangopadhyay. The case was then reassigned by the Chief Justice to Justice Tirthankar Ghosh.

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