Sandeshkhali violence: Supreme Court lists plea challenging LS Privileges Committee against WB officials after 2 weeks

The Supreme Court on Monday granted two weeks to the Central government to file a reply over the notice issued to the West Bengal Chief Secretary, the State DGP and other officials by the Lok Sabha Privileges Committee over a complaint by BJP MP Sukanta Majumdar alleging misconduct and life-threatening injuries.

Appearing for the State of West Bengal, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi contended that the privileges committee has never acted so fast. There was no breach by any iota of imagination. The case was covered by the Sita Soren judgment of this court.

Representing the Central Government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought some time to file a reply over the matter.

Senior Advocate Gopal Sankarnarayanan argued that they (Lok Sabha Privilege Committee) took action in one day, but it needed so many days to file a reply.

Singhvi asked the Apex Court, what was the meaning of a State DGP being summoned by the Lok Sabha Privileges Committee.

The Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud directed the counsels of both the parties to file counter affidavits and listed the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

On February 18, the Apex Court had stayed the notice issued to West Bengal Chief Secretary Bhagwati Prasad Gopalika and other officers by the privileges committee of the Lok Sabha on a complaint filed by the West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party President in connection with the Sandeshkhali violence on February 13 and 14.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for the State of West Bengal apprised the Apex Court that the complaint was based on falsehood.

The Bench of CJI Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra further issued notice to the Lok Sabha secretariat.

Majumdar was allegedly stopped from entering Sandeshkhali, where women have been agitating over alleged atrocities committed against them by Trinamool Congress leader Shahjahan Sheikh and his aides.

Arguments were made against the invocation of privilege in such a context.

The Counsel appearing for the Lok Sabha Secretariat clarified that the Privileges Committee’s proceedings were routine. He said this was the first sitting of the Privileges Committee. They were not being accused of anything. This was a regular process, added the lawyer.

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