July 25, 2017 6:28:06 pm
A city court on Tuesday turned down the CBI’s plea for an arrest warrant against GJM president Bimal Gurung and 21 others who did not appear in court for hearing on framing of charges in the Madan Tamang murder case. Chief Judge, City Sessions Court, Kundan Kumar Kumai refused the CBI’s plea that arrest warrant be issued against the accused persons who did not appear before the court in contravention of the Calcutta High Court order. CBI counsel Arun Bhagat had prayed for arrest warrant against Gurung, his wife Asha and 20 others including senior GJM leaders when they failed to appear before the court on Monday for hearing on framing of charges.
The judge fixed the period between August one and four for day-to-day hearings for framing of charge against the accused persons, as also for hearing of discharge petitions filed by those accused in the killing of All India Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang.
The judge also directed Bidhanagar Police and Kolkata Police authorities to file reports before the court on allegations that some of the accused were questioned and followed after they left the court premises on Monday.
Their counsel Sayan De claimed before the court that some of his clients were questioned and followed by policemen after they left the court premises here and went to Gorkha Bhavan in Bidhannagar, where they were staying for the night.
Of the 48 accused in the case against whom CBI has sought framing of charges for the murder of Tamang in the heart of Darjeeling in May 2010, 26 accused were present.
The Calcutta High Court had on July 19 asked all the accused, against whom CBI has sought framing of charges, to be present before the court of the chief judge of City Sessions Court.
A division bench presided over by acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre had directed the trial court to hold day-to-day hearing and conclude framing of charges by August 17.
Noting that several accused were not present during the hearing for framing of charges on earlier occasions also, the division bench had directed the CBI to ensure their presence in court.
Among the 26 accused present before the court were former GJM MLA Harka Bahadur Chetri, Ramesh Allay and Rabin Subba.
Apart from Bimal Gurung, senior GJM leaders Asha Gurung, Roshan Giri, Binay Tamang and Devendra Sharma were among those absent.
Those accused who were absent in the court made written prayer before the court seeking to be represented by their lawyers.
CBI counsel Arun Bhagat had opposed the prayers, submitting that the high court had expressly ordered their presence before the trial court for the hearing. He sought arrest warrants against them for being absent.
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