A Calcutta High Court vacation bench comprising Justices Indra Prasanna Mukerji, and Aniruddha Roy on Wednesday ordered status quo on arrest warrants issued against Trinamool Congress’ Nandigram booth agents Abu Taher and Abdul Samad in relation the 2007 Nandigram violence.
Both Taher and Samad are members of the Bhumi Uchched Protirodh Committee formed by the residents of Purba Medinipur for peaceful agitation against the land acquisition which was conducted by the Government of West Bengal for setting up a Special Economic Zone in 2007.
The applicants had moved the High Court after the Court on March 5, 2021, passed an order reviving the charges against the two for 2007 violence after the charges had been withdrawn by the State government in 2020.
Interestingly, the High Court had revived the charges based on a public interest litigation filed by a BJP activist, Dipak Mishra.
When the plea by Taher and Samad came up for hearing on Wednesday, the High Court adverted to the March 26 Supreme Court order passed on the same issue. The Supreme Court had on a plea by Mamata Banerjee’s election agent for Nandigram, SK Supain protected him from coercive action.
Supain was also a participant of Nandigram agitation and had pending criminal charges against him which were dropped in February 2020 before it got revived by the High Court’s March 5 order.
He had then approached Supreme Court against the same and secured interim protection.
“In view of the judgment and order of the Supreme Court in Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) Nos. 2669 – 2670 of 2021 in State of West Bengal and Ors. –vs- Dipak Mishra on 26th March 2021, we direct status quo, as of today, with regard to the applicants before us shall be maintained till 8th April, 2021 or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” High Court ordered on Wednesday.
Taher and Samad contended that petitioners Dipak Mishra and Nilanjan Adhikary “are politically motivated persons who on a mala fide basis filed a purported public interest litigation which led to the passing of the said order”.
“These persons filed such petition for their personal vendetta and political gain even though the S.321, CrPC orders which were stayed by the said order were passed by following due process,” the plea said.