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SC askes TMC Minister Birbaha Hansda to apply to the court for permission to file FIR against Suvendu Adhikari

The Supreme Court's Division Bench, comprised of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha, refused to hear a petition filed by TMC minister Birbaha Hansda challenging a Calcutta High Court order prohibiting the registration of FIRs against Nandigram BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari without prior permission. Hansda, a tribal leader, had filed a complaint against Adhikari under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, alleging that he had made derogatory remarks about her. While the Supreme Court did not intervene, it did allow Hansda to petition the Calcutta High Court to be heard in the pending proceedings.

Senior Advocate PS Patwalia, appearing for Adhikari, submitted–

"Everyday new FIRs are being registered. Earlier it was about causing some deaths and that judge was in Port Blair. This order is not out of blue. He has not mentioned anywhere that he is a member of the legislative assembly and the cabinet minister in the TMC. He should have mentioned this in the complaint. This is completely political."

CJI DY Chandrachud stated–

"The High Court of Calcutta is hearing this plea and the next date of listing is 10th January. Hence the petitioner will be at liberty to move the High Court to be heard in the pending proceedings. We permit the petitioner to pursue the matter."

Calcutta High Court had stayed over 17 FIRs registered against Adhikari and passed an order restraining the State from registering fresh FIRs against him. The High Court had ordered that the State police would not register any FIRs against Adhikari without the leave of the High Court. Post this; the State of West Bengal had approached the Supreme Court seeking liberty for the registration of an FIR against Adhikari in relation to a stampede at a blanket distribution event in Bengal's West Burdwan district. However, the Supreme Court bench led by CJI Chandrachud had refused to entertain the petition by stating that the State had the option of moving to the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court to alter the blanket stay. Later, the Calcutta High Court passed an order granting liberty to the State to move a formal application praying for leave to file an FIR against Adhikari.

CASE TITLE: Birbaha Hansda v. Suvendhu Adhikari 
Diary No. 40752/2022

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