India

Supreme court aware that political parties using courts forum

Supreme court aware that political parties using courts forum
Chief Justice of India S A Bobde. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna/File)

In a significant remark, the Supreme Court said on Monday that it was conscious that “opposition parties” were “using” the forum of the court. Pausing for a second, the CJI added “of all sides”, conveying that he was not referring to any particular party.

Chief Justice of India S A Bobde made the comments while hearing a plea seeking CBI probe into the death of a BJP worker, Dulal Kumar, in West Bengal.

“We are quite cognizant of the fact that opposition parties are using the forum of the court,” the CJI said, as senior advocate Kapil Sibal said such incidents happen in several states and there will be no end to it if lawyers started filing petitions in the Supreme Court in all such cases.

Sibal also said the court should decide whether members of political parties should be allowed to file such PILs. His reference was to Gaurav Bhatia, senior advocate and a member of the BJP, who had filed the plea.

Bhatia had filed the plea alleging foul play in the death of three BJP workers in Bengal ahead of the last panchayat polls in the state. However, the pleas related to the death of two others were subsequently disposed and only Kumar’s remained.

On Monday, Bhatia pointed out that the family of Kumar wanted to be impleaded in the matter. The bench issued a notice to the state on the plea and asked it to file a reply in four weeks.

Bhatia said the court had in its last order asked a medical board to be constituted to examine the cause of death of Kumar.

Sibal submitted that accordingly, a team of five doctors was constituted, which had opined that it was a case of “suicide” and the outcome of an “extra-marital affair”. Following this, the police had filed a closure report, he added.

Bhatia opposed this and said all those named in the initial complaint were workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress but they were never arrested. He said the family was contesting the conclusion that it was a suicide and added that there may have been “political pressure” to write it off as a suicide and urged the court to hand the probe over to the CBI.