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Ram Navami violence in Bengal: NIA yet to get access to records pertaining to 6 FIRs

Advocate Patwalia argued that the Bengal government is sitting over the case records which were to be transferred to the NIA.

The Supreme Court on July 16, directed the West Bengal state and LoP Suvendu Adhikari to sit with Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and conducted the exercise to establish whether all six FIRs pertaining to the Ram Navami violence in Bengal are related to the same incident or not. The apex court was hearing a plea filed by the TMC government challenging Calcutta High Court’s order transferring the probe to NIA.

The NIA had filed six FIRs more than a month ago in connection with the Ram Navami violence in the TMC-ruled state. An NIA official reportedly confirmed to a media house that case diaries are yet to be handed over to the agency despite SC’s refusal to stay the HC order to transfer the probe to NIA.

The SC, while issuing the direction, noted that it will have to look at the heart of the incidents. It said that the question is whether the High Court has made any error. The bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud was quoted by Bar and Bench as saying, “HC has directed to hand over all materials immediately to …here there was a direction to the central govt to act in accordance with section 6(5) NIA…Show us prima facie.. that this case dealt with explosives..”

Representing Adhikari, senior advocate PS Patwalia argued that “the government can on its own or by recommendation by state, transfer probe to NIA as per Section 6 of NIA Act.” Patwalia argued that the Bengal government is sitting over the case records which were to be transferred to the NIA.

He further argued that the state has not mentioned anything about explosives in the FIR even as patients suffered “serious injuries from glass bottles, crude bombs.” He noted that the HC had found that there was a deliberate attempt by the state police to not invoke the explosive substances act.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Gopal Sankaranarayanan appearing for the state argued that PILs are being filed one after another by political opponents, adding that not every case can be transferred in this manner as it “demoralises the state police force.”

Patwalia responded that only one petition is by a BJP leader and the rest are by lawyers related to the Ram Navami procession. While the state continued to argue that the allegations of explosives being thrown have to be established still, the court said that such information must be forwarded to the Centre and cannot be stalled.

The state is making its case that only one FIR be transferred to the NIA but the remaining five have no grounds for transfer. While Patwari has submitted that all FIRs are pertaining to the same procession, the state has argued that all are different with different accused.

The CJI has now directed to check if the FIRs in the Ram Navami violence case overlap and to prepare a short notice on the same. The case has been scheduled for hearing on Friday, 21st July.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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