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The Court, however, granted liberty to Kumar to approach the appropriate forum for further legal remedy. His protection from arrest lapses today and Kumar now apprehends arrest by the CBI.
The Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Surya Kant observed that the Bench cannot pass an order when the Chief Justice of India has already directed that an application seeking a similar relief be heard by the Bench that passed the May 17 order.
Kumar had filed a fresh petition under Article 32 seeking anticipatory bail from the Supreme Court given that the Courts in the State of West Bengal have purportedly been rendered non-functional in light of the lawyers’ strike.
Justice Mishra said that a Writ petition under Article 32 was not maintainable and added that despite the lawyers’ strike, the Courts in the State are functioning and judges were hearing litigants and passing orders.
While declining to entertain this petition, the Court said that the petitioner is at the liberty to approach the appropriate Court in the State of West Bengal and is also at liberty to pursue the application before CJI Gogoi.
Kumar was represented by Advocates Sunil Fernandes and Astha Sharma.
Meanwhile, a second Vacation Bench headed by Justice MR Shah today granted relief to a petitioner seeking similar relief. This petition for anticipatory bail was filed by the District President of the BJP, Praveen Agrawal, on the ground that he has moved the Supreme Court in light of the ongoing strike in the State.
On Wednesday, a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah had granted protection from arrest to Barrackpore BJP candidate, Arjun Singh, who apprehended arrest and yet wanted to be present for the counting of votes.
The lawyers in the State have been on a strike and have ceased all legal work since April 25 after the Howrah Court violence which had led to a number of litigants approaching the Supreme Court directly for matters such as anticipatory bail and have been granted relief.
Read the Order: