The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday ordered re-arrest of West Bengal Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury in a double murder case of July 2005.
Chowdhury, who represents the Behrampore Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district, was acquitted of charges in the case in May this year by a lower court but the state government had challenged the verdict in the Calcutta High Court which has issued orders to arrest Chowdhury and 13 others.
The division bench of Justices Amit Talukdar and Arun Kumar Bhattacharya ruled that under Section 390 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Adhir Chowdhury and 13 others could be re-arrested and produced in a chief judicial magistrate's court.
"We had appealed in the higher court and the appeal was heard by the division bench," said public prosecutor Ashimesh Goswami who had prayed for their re-arrest.
The Murshidabad additional sessions judge's court on May 21 had absolved Chowdhury of all charges, besides giving a clean chit to 13 others accused in the murder of a hotelier and his son - Hanif and Laltu Sheikh - in Behrampore in July 2005.
The court had said there was no reasonable ground for conviction of Chowdhury or the other accused.
Reacting to the high court verdict, Chowdhury said in New Delhi: "I have full faith in judiciary. This is a conspiracy by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M). When the party's cadres failed to suppress me their government came to the scene. My innocence would be proved and the CPI-M would be defeated."
Chowdhury was arrested from his Delhi residence on Nov 19, 2005 after Murshidabad chief judicial magistrate AK Pal issued an arrest warrant against him and his wife Arpita on Oct 18.
The Calcutta High Court released Arpita Chowdhury on bail while Adhir got the bail after a week in jail. Arpita was later absolved of the case.
The Murshidabad strongman of the Congress, who has a Robin Hood like image in the area, met with personal tragedy when his only daughter Shrayashi jumped to death from a high-rise building in south Kolkata last October.
Recently, his wife tried to commit suicide by taking sleeping pills.