West Bengal seeks Supreme Court nod to act against IPS officer
Senior counsel Neeraj Kishan Kaul appearing for Bharati Ghosh said that the move to keep Ghosh away from the state was politically coloured as she was contesting the Lok Sabha election as a BJP nominee
The West Bengal government on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to vacate its two "ex-parte" orders restraining the state from taking any coercive action against former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh and seeking to bar her from entering the state.
The government has sought the vacation of the earlier orders restraining the state police from taking any action against Ghosh, who is now the BJP candidate for Ghatal Lok Sabha seat in Midnapore district, and barring her from entering the state contending that she may tamper with evidence.
As senior counsel Kapil Sibal urged the top court to vacate the orders as they were coming in the way of its investigations in other cases, the bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice K.M. Joseph said that "we can clarify that former police cop would co-operate with the investigation."
The court said that its order did not mean that the police can't investigate the cases.
The SC by its October 1, 2018, order had said that Bharati Ghosh "shall not be arrested in connection with any of the cases" at that point of time and by its February 19, 2019 order, it said: "Without prejudice to the contentions of the parties, we are of the view that till the next date of hearing no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner (Bharati Ghosh) in any of the cases."
Sibal, appearing for West Bengal government, told the court that there were four categories of cases against the accused that were rooted in certain acts in the wake of demonetization, possession of disproportionate assets, recovery of cash to the tune of Rs 2 crore among others.
Senior counsel Neeraj Kishan Kaul appearing for Bharati Ghosh said that the move to keep Ghosh away from the state was politically coloured as she was contesting the Lok Sabha election as a BJP nominee.
Sibal said that she was welcome to come and file her nomination papers but that can't be a ground for asking the state police to hold its hands from investigating the cases against her - a point court agreed with observing that this could not be a ground to thwart the investigation.
The court also noted that most of the cases against the former cop were much before she charted on the political path.
At one point, Justice Joseph observed how an officer of impeccable record would do so. Sibal drew the attention of the court towards the evidence, including transcripts of intercepts of telephonic conversation and the observation of the High Court in the case.
Since the arguments were inconclusive, they would continue on April 25.
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