The Calcutta High Court, on Tuesday, came down heavily on Bharathiya Janatha Party for suppressing facts and producing a tampered document in a Writ petition filed by it, seeking transfer of a complaint about hate speech, from police to another investigation agency. Imposing a cost of 10 Lakhs while dismissing the petition, Justice Dipankar Datta held “petitioners ought to suffer exemplary costs so as to remind the first petitioner that howsoever strong and mighty it is in the political scene, it must respect the laws of the country while seeking to invoke the extra- ordinary jurisdiction of the Court and not suppress facts or produce a tampered document to suit its end.”
The petitioners had alleged inaction of the Officer-in-Charge, Jorasanko Police Station in taking steps for registration of an FIR on the basis of complaints dated June 23, 2015 and June 25, 2015 in relation to a perceived hate speech delivered by a Member of Parliament. The complaint was that a member of Parliament of the ruling party of the state had openly instigated his workers by urging them to gouge out the eyes and to cut off the hands of anyone who wishes to glare at the people of Bengal and that each one of them must be reminded that the people of Bengal have the last word so long the present incumbent holds office as Chief Minister of West Bengal. During the course of argument, the Government pleader had alleged that the petitioners had suppressed facts and action has been taken.
The court further held “it has to be remembered that this is not a writ petition at the instance of a stranger or a busybody attempting to gain cheap popularity by espousing a pretended public cause; it is inter alia at the instance of a political party which, in the parliamentary elections last conducted in the country, was successful in emerging as the party having the maximum number of representatives in the LokSabha and is also part of the ruling dispensation at the Centre.Invocation of extra-ordinary writ jurisdiction of a high court by a political party of the stature of the first petitioner, not being unmindful of the influence that it wields on the common people, pertaining to a sensitive issue in such a disorganized manner and with such a casual approach not only merits to be deprecated but the time is now ripe, when the Courts in India are faced with a deluge of litigation from aggrieved persons seeking justice and the Courts are hard pressed in listening to the grievance of each one of them, to send a strong signal that the Courts are not the place for settling political scores and that wastage of judicial time, though nominal in measure, would not be tolerated.”
This Bench said that it has no hesitation to hold that not only should this writ petition be not entertained in view of the developments post the decision in Biplab Kumar Chowdhury but the petitioners ought to suffer exemplary costs so as to remind the first petitioner that howsoever strong and mighty it is in the political scene, it must respect the laws of the country while seeking to invoke the extra- ordinary jurisdiction of the Court and not suppress facts or produce a tampered document to suit its end.