NIA to investigate violence during Ram Navami celebrations, Supreme Court upholds High Court’s decision


The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the West Bengal government’s petition challenging the High Court’s order for an NIA probe into the violence during Ram Navami celebrations. On Monday, a bench of Supreme Court Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice Manoj Mishra upheld the Calcutta High Court’s order handing over the investigation of incidents of violence during Ram Navami celebrations in Bengal to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Earlier, on May 19, the Chief Justice’s bench of the Supreme Court refused to stay the order of the High Court handing over the investigation to the NIA, now the Supreme Court has rejected the state government’s petition itself.

West Bengal government’s petition dismissed

Senior advocates Abhishek Singhvi and Gopal Sankaranarayanan, representing the West Bengal government, had said during the hearing of the matter that the High Court in its order had mentioned only one FIR related to the Chandannagar incident. Sankaranarayanan had said, “We have instructions that the court may allow the NIA to investigate the Chandannagar FIR, but allow the state police to investigate the remaining five FIRs.”

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investigation will continue

Singhvi had said that the NIA cannot be brought in in ordinary cases of violence unless it affects the security or sovereignty of the country. Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and PS Patwalia, appearing for top state BJP leader Shubhendu Adhikari, had said that the NIA has registered the case and the investigation will continue even if the High Court order is stayed.

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According to the state police, explosives were not used.

The West Bengal government has criticized the High Court order transferring the probe to the NIA, saying no explosives were used. The state government also said that the direction was passed on a ‘politically motivated’ PIL by Shubhendu Adhikari, Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly. To this, Mr. Singhvi had said that the State Police did not find any instance of the use of explosives, necessitating the involvement of the NIA in the investigation.

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The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the High Court

The high court, in its April 27 order, had directed the state police to ensure that all FIRs, documents, seized material and CCTV footage are handed over to the NIA within two weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of the order. Upholding the decision of the High Court, the Supreme Court ordered the state government to hand over all the documents and evidence to the NIA.

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