Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing on behalf of one of the four arrested Trinamool Congress leaders in Narada Case, on June 16th, 2021, argued before the Calcutta High Court that the power to transfer of trial under Section 406- 409 of CrPC is not exercised lightly because it has a reflection on the conduct of a judicial officer and the functionality of the justice system after CBI moved the Calcutta High Court seeking the transfer of trial of Trinamool Congress leaders from the Special CBI Court to the High Court on the ground of ‘mobocracy’.
The CBI argued that the CBI was prevented from producing the four accused before the Magistrate due to concentrated efforts of the accused who organized mobocracy outside its office.
In response, Senior Advocate apprised the court that the West Bengal State’s amendments to CrPC permit production of accused via audio-video linkage and added that the CBI failed to mention the factum about obstruction in its charge sheet or remand application and therefore, it must be concluded that the claims of mobocracy are cooked up. He cited the Supreme court order that granted bail to P. Chindambaram from CBI’s custody after noting the absence of any allegation indicating his involvement in trying to influence witnesses in CBI’s remand application.
In this backdrop, he argued that there was no occasion to arrest the accused persons and the discretion exercised by Trial Court under Section 438 CrPC need no inference.
Moreover, Senior Advocate averred that the agency failed to follow the process prescribed, which he stated is issued with the consent of CVC, which exercises superintendence over CBI.
Further citing the judgement on the stunned evidentiary value of news reports regarding protests and obstruction outside CBI office / Court, Senior Advocate told the bench that newspaper reports cannot be the basis for filing writ petitions and urged the Court to call for CCTV footage of CBI office which he says would indicate that its rear entrance was obstructed and added that the protests are a party of people’s democracy and such extraneous consideration ought not to be taken into account in judicial proceedings.