Cal HC extends interim protection to Vijayvargiya, 2 other BJP leaders in assault case against woman

  • | Monday | 25th October, 2021

Kolkata, Oct 25 (PTI) The Calcutta High Court on Monday extended the interim protection granted to BJP leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya, Jisnu Basu and Pradeep Joshi on their petition for anticipatory bail in connection with a case of alleged assault on a woman and criminal intimidation.The petitioners" lawyers had stated that the woman initially lodged two complaints of assault against them and, after the police filed closure reports on both, alleged in an application before a lower court that she had been sexually assaulted by the three leaders. A senior lawyer representing the petitioners submitted before a vacation bench comprising Justices Debangsu Basak and Rabindranath Samanta on Monday that a special leave petition (SLP) challenging an earlier order of the high court in connection with the matter was likely to be heard on Monday. He prayed that the matter may be taken up by the division bench after two days. The lawyer representing the complainant opposed the payer. The advocate appearing for the state submitted that since the SLP is pending before the Supreme Court, it would be appropriate to adjourn the applications for two days. Hearing all the parties, the division bench directed that the interim protection granted on October 14 will continue till November 1 or until further orders, whichever is earlier. Granting interim protection to the petitioners on their prayer for anticipatory bail, a division bench comprising Justices Harish Tandon and K Chanda had on October 14 directed that in the event of arrest, Kailash Vijayvargiya, Jisnu Basu and Pradeep Joshi "shall be released on interim bail upon furnishing a bond of Rs 10,000 each, with two sureties of like amount each, one of whom must be local, to the satisfaction of the arresting officer." Stating that the interim order will remain effective till October 25, the vacation bench had directed that the petitioners will not tamper with the evidence and intimidate witnesses in any manner. Noting that the earlier complaints registered by the woman did not disclose the alleged offence of sexual assault, the bench had said "those complaints were lodged on separate set of facts where there is no whisper of gang-rape having committed by the petitioners." The bench further noted that even those complaints, after being investigated, were dropped in the closure report filed by the investigating officer as the materials found during the investigation do not instil confidence nor meet the requirement of law. On December 20, 2019, the woman had lodged complaints in this regard at Sarsuna police station in Kolkata and at Bolpur police station in Birbhum district under IPC sections for alleged assault and criminal intimidation. She had moved an application before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Alipore, in Kolkata on November 12, 2020, seeking an investigation into her complaints, but the court had dismissed her prayer for delay in lodging the complaints of the alleged incident of November 29, 2018 and reasoning that the veracity and truthfulness of the allegation is doubtful. The woman had then moved a criminal revisional application before the high court challenging the lower court"s order. The high court allowed the application, setting aside the order of the CJM, Alipore, and remitted it back for reconsideration. The CJM on October 8, 2021, directed that the complaint be treated as an FIR. Vijayvargiya, Basu and Joshi moved anticipatory bail applications before the high court apprehending arrest in connection with the case. An SLP was also filed by them before the Supreme Court challenging the earlier order of the high court. PTI AMR NN NN

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