CBI plea to arrest Gurung rejected
Darjeeling, July 25, 2017: The City Sessions Court in Kolkata on Tuesday rejected plea by the CBI to issue arrest warrants against Gorkha Jankmukti Morcha President Bimal Gurung and others in the Madan Tamang murder case.
The Chief Judge of the City Sessions Court gave a nod to prayer made by the GJM's counsel that the 22 against who the CBI had sought arrest warrants can be represented by their counsels in court for this case. Discharge petitions will be heard by the court from August 1 to 4th.
"We had made a prayer under Section 317 CRPC (Provision for inquiries and trial being held in the absence of accused in certain cases.) which was granted by the City Sessions Court. We have also filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court to shift the case outside West Bengal" stated Sayan Dey, Defence Counsel.
The defence counsel also made prayers for protection for the accused who are residing in Gorkha Bawan in Salt Lake Kolkata. The Counsel claimed that they were being regularly intimidated. The Chief Judge directed the Commissioner of Bidhannagar City Police to file an affidavit in Court regarding this.
On Monday, Gurung and 21 others had failed to appear in the City Sessions Court, Kolkata in the Madan Tamang murder case following which the CBI has prayed before the court to issue arrest warrants against the 22.
On Sunday a 4 member CBI team armed with a Calcutta High Court order that Bimal Gurung and others accused in the Madan Tamang murder case have to appear before the Chief Judge, City Sessions Court, Calcutta, on Monday had served notices to the accused in Darjeeling.
As per the High Court order the 22 including Gurung, GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri, Assistant General Secretary Binay Tamang along with other front rung GJM leaders were to be present at the City Sessions Court, Calcutta at 10am on Monday. They however failed to turn up.
The other 26 accused in the case including Harka Bhadur Chettri , President, Jan Andolan Party were present in the City Sessions Court on Monday.
The CBI had then made a prayer before the Court that arrest warrants should be issued against the 22 as their absence would create a hindrance in framing of charges in the Madan Tamang murder case.
Incidentally on July 19 Calcutta High Court had directed the city sessions court to frame charges against GJM President Bimal Gurung and 21 others in the Madan Tamang murder case by August 17.
Incidentally a Calcutta High Court division bench comprising of acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty while hearing PILs on the ongoing indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling Hills had earlier added the CBI in the case.
Gurung leading the GJM is on an agitation path in the Hills. The indefinite bandh clamped from June 15 is part of the agitation. The division bench headed by acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre had labeled the bandh as illegal.
The division bench had asked the CBI to file an affidavit as to why the CBI has failed to take steps to ensure that GJM President Bimal Gurung, his wife Asha Gurung and several others accused in the killing of All India Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang are not present in Kolkata as was directed by another division bench of the high court.
Madan Tamang had been brutally assassinated on May 21, 2010 at the Upper Clubside, Darjeeling while overseeing preparation of a public meeting. The case was handed over to the CBI.
In May 2015 the CBi submitted a charge sheet naming 54 persons including Bimal Gurung, Asha Gurung, Roshan Giri and BinayTamang. 22, including Gurung, Giri, Tamang had moved anticipatory bail pleas in the Calcutta high court.
A division bench of the Calcutta High Court headed by Justice Ashim Roy had in December 2016 had granted the Morcha leaders anticipatory bail but had specified that the trial against the accused would be conducted by a special CBI court in Calcutta and they would have to stay in the city (within the jurisdiction of Kolkata metropolitan police) from the time of framing of charges till the completion of trial.