Supreme Court orders withdrawal of 7 companies of CAPF from Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills
The Supreme Court has provided relief to the Union Government and ordered that the Union Government can pull out 7 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) from trouble torn Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills in North Bengal. 15 companies of CAPF are deployed in the Hills of North Bengal.
The Apex Court Bench comprising of Justice A M Khanwilkar, Justice D Y Chandrachud and headed by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra stayed the pending proceedings before the Calcutta High Court saying it will deal with the case "in a holistic manner".
Ordering the withdrawal of 7 companies of CAPF out of the 15 companies deployed in the Hills of North Bengal, the Supreme Court Bench ordered the West Bengal Government to respond within a week to the Centre's appeal.
Rajesh Tribedi, Counsel, representing the West Bengal Government stated that the situation was still fluid in Darjeeling and Kalimpong and prayed that all 15 companies were required to maintain law and order.
Maninder Singh, Additional Solicitor General argued that the CAPF companies would have to be withdrawn and redeployed at Himachal Pradesh, the state scheduled to go to Assembly polls on November 9.
He further stated that if the CAPF were not pulled out early they would not be in time for the Himachal Pradesh Polls.
The Supreme Court bench ordered that the withdrawal could be initiated from Friday night itself.
Incidentally the Central Government had earlier ordered the withdrawal of 10 companies of CAPF out of the 15 presently deployed in the Hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of North Bengal.
On October 17 the Calcutta High Court had stayed this asking both the Centre and the West Bengal Government to file affidavits. The next date of hearing was scheduled on October 27.
The State Government had written to the Centre to extend the deployment of troops till December 25, which however the Union Government had denied.
On October 25 the Union Government had moved the Apex Court against the Calcutta High Court order.
The next date of hearing has been fixed on November 27 by the Apex Court bench on this matter.