HC stays probe of FIR lodged against Raman Singh, Sambit Patra in alleged toolkit case
The FIR was registered at Civil Lines station of the state capital against ex-CM Raman Singh, BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra and others.
The Chhattisgarh High Court on Monday stayed the investigation of the FIR lodged against former chief minister Raman Singh and BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra by Raipur police in the alleged ‘fake toolkit case’ and sought a reply from the state government in the next three weeks, HT has learnt.
The HC in its separate orders said, “If we see the face value of the FIR no offence under Sections 504, 505(1)(b) and 505(1)(c) of IPC is made out as the averments of the FIR reflect that by the Tweet of the petitioner, Congressmen are aggravated which clearly indicates that no public peace or tranquillity is being adversely affected and it is purely political rivalry between two political parties”.
“This, prima facie, establishes that present FIR has been registered with political motives,” the orders said.
“..Considering the facts of the case and from perusal of FIR, prima facie, no case is made out against the petitioner and criminal proceedings is manifestly attended against the petitioner with malafides or with political grudge. Considering overall the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the view that the petitioner has made out strong case for grant of stay, as continuation of investigation on basis of FIR will be nothing but an abuse of process of law,” the HC order stated.
Singh and Patra filed a writ petition with the Chhattisgarh High Court against the FIR seeking relief over the FIR lodged against them.
On May 19, an FIR was registered at Civil Lines station of the state capital against ex-CM Raman Singh, BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra and others for allegedly spreading fake news and “promoting enmity between classes”, in the toolkit row.
The complaint filed by National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) Chhattisgarh chief, Akash Sharma, had registered a case under sections 504, 505 (1) b, c, 469 and 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
Later, notices were severed to both the leaders after which Singh had submitted his written reply to the Raipur police.
During the hearing on the petition on June 11, senior lawyers Mahesh Jethmalani, Ajay Burman and other counsels appeared for Singh and Patra while senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi and state’s Advocate General Satish Chandra Verma argued for the state.
After hearing, the HC on June 11 sought a reply on the issue from the state government within three weeks and reserved its order over grant of interim relief. The order was delivered on Monday.
The HC said further investigation on the FIR shall remain stayed till the next hearing