BJP Spokesperson and also a Senior Lawyer Gaurav Bhatia has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in order to have a CBI probe into the matter concerning BJP Activist Dulal Kumar’s alleged murder. The Supreme Court on Monday, 27th January 2020, asked for the West Bengal’s government reply to the plea of Gaurav Bhatia which sought to make it a party in the petition concerning the murder of the activist which happened in 2018 in the state itself.
The 32-year-old BJP activist’s body was found hanging from an electric pole in Balarampur which comes under the Purulia district of West Bengal on 2nd June 2018 right after Panchayat Elections took place in the state. The petition said, “it was an example of the violence meted out by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal to its political rivals.”
“You (state government) file the response to the impleadment application within four weeks,” said the bench which comprised Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant.
Bhatia has also requested to be allowed to follow the PIL and to also be made a party to the case.
During the short proceedings, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, who represented the side of the WB Government, stated that one day the Apex Court has to decide whether a Political Activist can be granted to file a PIL based on just Newspaper reports in such matters.
But the Apex court took note of Mr. Bhatia’s reply to Mr. Sibal, “We are conscious that opposition parties are also using the forum of this court.”
While referring to the fallacies in the case, Mr. Bhatia pointed out to the fact that the body of Mr. Kumar was found hanging from the electric pole and despite the family of the deceased naming six people as accused for the killing, the state police took around 20 days in lodging the FIR. Moreover, the Police didn’t give a copy of the post-mortem report to the deceased’s family members, the lawyer further said that the Police recorded the statement of “entire mohalla” but not the family members.
To which Mr. Sibal replied to the submissions made by Mr. Bhatia and said that the appeal has been filed just on the basis of Newspaper reports and the death came as a result of an extra-marital affair of Mr. Kumar. The plea was vehemently opposed.
The apex court had asked the state government to furnish the report produced by the Medical Board as to affirm the cause by which Mr. Kumar died.
The proceedings have been now postponed for further four weeks by the Bench.
In the PIL, Mr. Bhatia had sought CBI probe for the death of three BJP workers - Shaktipada Sarkar, Trilochan Mahato and Dulal Kumar, in 2018.
But the apex court found the actions taken by state police in the death cases of Sarkar and Mahto to be appropriate and decided to stop the proceedings with regard to their death.
“In the case involving the death of Shaktipada Sardar, three of the accused named in the FIR have been charge-sheeted and they are presently in custody. In addition, other persons not named in the FIR have also been charge-sheeted.”
The court further added, “Having regard to the above facts and availability of alternative remedy to the family members of the deceased, we decline and would not like to continue to entertain this writ petition insofar as the death of Shaktipada Sardar and Trilochan Mahato is concerned,” it had said.
The PIL also looks for having Rs. 50 lakh as compensation for each family member of the deceased BJP workers and further wants “adequate police protection to the family members of the victims as there is an imminent threat to their lives”.
Author – Devansh Dev