Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Anubrata Mondal on Monday moved a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court against a Single Bench order wherein he had been denied any relief from appearing before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Kolkata for questioning in the ongoing cattle smuggling probe.
Mondal had moved a Single Bench of the High Court pursuant to the issuance of a CBI notice under Section 160 of CrPC directing him to appear before its investigating team for questioning in the CBI office at Nizam Palace, Kolkata. He had declined to appear before the CBI on three prior occasions citing various medical ailments. Mondal had also requested for the questioning to take place at a place nearer to his residence considering the ongoing pandemic.
On Monday, senior advocate Kishore Datta sought leave from a Bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj to file an appeal against the impugned Single Bench order. The senior counsel apprised the Bench that the matter pertained to challenging an order directing compliance of a CBI notice.
The Chief Justice remarked, “File it, we will consider”. It was further indicated that the matter might come up for hearing on Wednesday.
Justice Rajasekhar Mantha on Friday had dismissed the plea of Mondal after noting that he had travelled outside Bolpur on several occasions and that his aliments as examined by the Medical Board are not that serious that would requirement confinement to his home or a hospital.
“Having carefully heard the submissions of the parties, this Court notes that indeed the petitioner has been traveling outside Bolpur and on a couple of instances traveled all the way to Howrah. He has appeared in Kolkata before the Medical Board, the ailments referred to by the Medical Board are not as serious as to require the petitioner to remain confined to his home or a hospital”, the Court had recorded.
The Court had further observed that the instant case does not warrant an interference under Article 226 of the Constitution of India as an alternate remedy is available under Section 438 of CrPC.
“The remedy under Article 226 of the Constitution of India in the face of available remedy under Section 438 of the Cr.P.C. is discretionary. The writ petition may be maintainable but as to whether it should be entertained or not is to be assessed in the facts and circumstances of each case. This Court is not satisfied that the facts of the instant case would warrant such interference”, the impugned order had stated.
It may be noted that the High Court last month had directed the CBI to not take any coercive measures against Mondal without the leave of the Court in relation to the ongoing probe into the West Bengal post poll violence cases. He had been summoned by the CBI as a witness at the NIT camp office in Durgapur in neighbouring Paschim Bardhaman district in connection with a murder case at Alambazar in Birbhum which is alleged to have a connection with the post-poll violence in West Bengal.
Case Title: Anubrata Mondal v. Union of India & Ors