Calcutta HC dismisses Suvendu’s contempt petition against DGP

Kolkata, Nov 7 (PTI) The Calcutta High Court on Monday dismissed a contempt petition filed by Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari against the Director General of Police (DGP), alleging that he was not allowed to visit Paschim Medinipur district’s Netai village on January 7, the anniversary of the killing of nine people, despite giving an undertaking.

Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya, who had earlier issued a rule of contempt over the petition, observed that it cannot be categorically said that there was a wilful breach of undertaking by the state “in the strict sense.” Justice Bhattacharyya dismissed the contempt petition by Adhikari against DGP Manoj Malaviya, observing that he cannot automatically be liable for the actions taken on the field by other alleged contemnors.

The court said that the expression “subject to legal restrictions” qualified the permission to the petitioner to visit Netai, which he had wanted to visit on January 7.

It said that there is sufficient material to justify the claim of the alleged contemnors that there would be a flagrant violation of the law and order situation in the event Adhikari was allowed to go through, which might have prompted the police authorities to prevent him from doing so, as it would create a risk of “inciting the highly volatile situation in Netai village”.

Adhikari’s petition seeking that he be allowed to visit Netai was disposed of on January 5, 2022 by observing that the petitioner and his security personnel have the right, as citizens of India, to visit not only Netai village but any other place in India, subject to legal restrictions, without violating any provision of law.

The advocate general had then submitted that no separate sanction need be given to any citizen of India to visit any part of the country, unless the law is violated by the said person in any manner whatsoever.

The contempt application was filed alleging that the DGP and other officials had deliberately and wilfully violated the order of January 5.

On January 7, 2011, nine villagers, said to be sympathisers of non-Left parties, were shot dead in indiscriminate firings from the house of local CPI(M) leader Rathin Dandapat.

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Source: PTI