The Supreme Court has granted weeklong interim protection from arrest to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee‘s election agent, Sheikh Sufiyan, in connection with the murder of a BJP worker Debarata Maity.
A bench comprising Justice Nageswara Rao and Justice BR Gavai passed the order of interim protection while hearing a special leave petition filed by Sufiyan challenging the Calcutta High Court’s order rejecting his anticipatory bail petition.
The SC bench dismissed the objections raised by solicitor general Tushar Mehta who said that Sufiyan was involved in a serious case of murder and should not be given any relief. Mehta who appeared for the CBI opposed the stay on arresting and said that the accused was politically powerful.
While the bench asked Mehta not to bring politics into this, it fixed January 31 as the date of hearing. The SC bench further stated that on January 31, no adjournment will be granted to the Special Leave Petition of Sufiyan and that the matter will be heard finally on that day. The bench also called for records of this case including statements recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC.
Mehta submitted before the court that many witnesses in their statement recorded under Section 164, have named Sufiyan. He said that the division bench comprising Justices Debangsu Basak and Bibahas Ranjan De of the Calcutta High Court on 29th November, last year, rejected his anticipatory bail petition. But despite the rejection of his petition and serious observation made by the court, Sufiyan managed not to be arrested till this date.
This is among the cases of political violence that CBI is investigating on the instruction of the Calcutta High Court passed on August 19, last year.
Sheikh Sufiyan was the election agent of Mamata Banerjee from Nandigram, a seat she lost to BJP’s Subhendu Adhikari. Debarata Maity, a BJP worker, was attacked by TMC goons on May 3rd, a day after the West Bengal Assembly poll results were announced. He succumbed to his injuries at SSKM Hospital on May 13.
Sheikh Sufiyan was summoned by the CBI back in September last year in connection with his alleged involvement in the murder of Maity.