The Supreme Court granted anticipatory bail to Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Sufiyan (SK Supiyan) who was accused in the murder of a BJP supporter during the West Bengal post-poll violence.
“We have granted ore-arrest bail but we have imposed several conditions” said a bench of Justices L Nageswara and Abhay S Oka while pronouncing the verdict.The bench had reserved its verdict last week, in the special leave petition filed by TMC leader Sheikh Sufiyan challenging Calcutta High Court’s order of refusing to grant anticipatory bail.
Sufiyan murdered BJP worker Debabrata Maity. The workers of Trinamool Congress (TMC) had attacked Maity on May 3, just a day after the West Bengal Assembly poll results were declared. Maity was taken to SSKM hospital in Kolkata for treatment where he succumbed to his injuries on May 13.
Sufiyan was later summoned by the CBI in September 2021 in connection with the murder case of Maity. The apex court had granted interim protection from arrest to Sufiyan.
The Calcutta High Court bench comprising Justices Debangsu Basak and Bibahas Ranjan De had rejected Sufiyan’s plea stating that the investigation of the case was still pending.
“Considering the gravity of the offence and considering the materials in the case diary and considering the statement recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, implicating the petitioner in the incident and considering the fact that the CBI is conducting investigation pursuant to the order passed by the Full Bench and considering the fact that the investigations are yet to be concluded, we are unable to grant anticipatory bail to the petitioner.”
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Sufiyan said that the FIR filed regarding the murder case of Maity did not name Sufiyan and neither his name was there in the complaint filed. Sufiyan’s name was also not there in the first chargesheet which was filed on October 5,2021.
“This case against the appellant is purely political and completely malafide on the part of the authorities. Appellant was not even present at the location.”Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal
ASG Aman Lekhi appearing for the CBI said that in this case politics is being used to evade the law and politics has no role, co-accused with whom the petitioners are similarly situated are already in custody.
“In this case politics is being used to evade the law and politics has no role. Sibal talked about the cases in 2007 suggesting that it’s politically motivated and you’ve dug them out. Where is politics at play? It’s at play in the withdrawal. Protection is being sought to evade the process of law which is apparent from the 1st summons that were issued in 2021 itself.”
However, the top court granted bail to Sufiyan saying that it has imposed several conditions on the accused.