Calcutta High Court

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Kolkata, Dec 5 – Calcutta High Court has granted protection to a section of BJP legislators against any action, like arrest or any coercive move, after the Kolkata Police filed FIRs against the lawmakers for alleged dishonour of the National Anthem in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, Court sources said on Tuesday.

The single-bench Judge Jay Sengupta on Monday ordered the city police to refrain from taking any action against the Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs until the next hearing.

The Judge also questioned the justification of singing the National Anthem during a protest was on in the Assembly. ” What will happen if somebody suddenly starts singing the National Anthem in the court now?”, the judge observed.

Justice Sengupta ordered the Kolkata Police to refrain from taking any action against the accused till Thursday.

The Judge fixed the next hearing on Wednesday and directed cops to submit the case diary on that day as the law enforcing agency failed to produce it during the first hearing on Monday.

The Kolkata Police had served notices on eight BJP legislators following FIRs lodged against 11 party legislators, accusing them of disrespecting the National Anthem in the state assembly on last Friday.

The court order followed after BJP’s Madarihat MLA and party chief whip in the assembly Manoj Tigga, had filed the petition seeking the judicial intervention after the city police filed FIRs as Speaker Biman Banerjee forwarded two complaints by Trinamool Congress MLAs Shobhandeb Chattopadhyay, Chandrima Bhattacharya and Tapas Roy.

The ruling party legislators alleged that the BJP MLAs started shouting slogans in the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a Trinamool dharna on the assembly premises, who was singing the National Anthem.

Justice Jay Sengupta told state counsel Kishore Datta: “Trinamool Congress MLAs were sitting on a dharna. Later, BJP MLAs started shouting slogans.

Trinamool MLAs in the meantime sang the National Anthem. It appears that BJP didn’t start shouting slogans after TMC members began singing the national anthem. They were giving slogans even before. What will a person do if someone starts singing the national anthem all of a sudden?”

“A dharna is not a ceremony. The national anthem can’t be sung on the pretext that the CM was present there,” the Judge observed.