The Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipur to file a report on the alleged search conducted by police authorities at the office of BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition of West Bengal Suvendu Adhikari last Sunday.
Adhikari had contended that a police team had raided his office situated in Nandigram in West Bengal's Purba Medinipur district, allegedly without any prior intimation and without a search warrant. This had prompted West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to seek an urgent report from the state chief secretary H K Dwivedi over an "attack by the police" on the BJP MLA's office.
The counsel appearing for Adhikari submitted before Justice Rajasekhar Mantha on Thursday that a huge contingent of police personnel numbering about 100 odd had forcibly entered into the petitioner's premises under the guise of search and seizure. It was further contended that despite repeated requests, the leader of the search party had not indicated as to the case under which the petitioner's house was being searched and the purpose thereof.
Opining that a large number of cases have been instituted by Adhikari against the actions of the State government, the Court noted,
"Admittedly the petitioner is the leader of the opposition in the State. A large number of proceedings have been instituted by the petitioner to challenge State action for which called for interference by this Court."
On the contrary, the counsel appearing for the State government apprised the Court that the police were looking for a lady called Mouha Jana Paul, who is the manager of the Tamluk Cooperative Agriculture Development Bank. It was further submitted that criminal proceedings had been initiated against the lady and her husband and that Adhikari's house had been raided under Section 47 of the CrPC on the basis of information received that the lady was allegedly hiding in Adhikari's residence.
The State government further clarified that Adhikari is neither an an accused nor a named witness in the concerned criminal case and that he was not even required under Section 160 of the CrPC.
Pursuant to the submissions, the Court ordered,
"This Court directs the Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipur to file a report indicating the circumstances under which the petitioner's house was raided on 15th May 2022 at 04:15 pm. The report of the Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipur should indicate the entire chain of events and facts and circumstances relating to the raid."
Justice Mantha further ordered that the Court's leave should be sought if the police authorities require the participation of Adhikari in any form pertaining to the criminal case in the future.
"In the event, however, the police require any participation or input from the petitioner in this regard, formal leave of this Court shall be sought", the Court directed further.
The Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipur was directed to file the aforementioned report on the next date of hearing which is slated to take place on June 14.
Case Title: Suvendu Adhikari v. The State of West Bengal & Ors.