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Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

‘Toolkit’ case: Top court says won’t interfere with HC stay on probe against BJP leaders

“Don't waste your energy here. We are not inclined to entertain the special leave petitions. We dismiss the SLPs,” the SC bench said, when senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the state, wanted to refer to records of the case.

Sambit Patra and Raman Singh. (File Photo)

The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed the Chhattisgarh government’s plea challenging a High Court stay on a probe against former Chief Minister Raman Singh and BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra. The FIR against the two leaders was registered over their tweets referring to a purported “toolkit” allegedly created by Congress.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana refused to interfere with the order of the Chhattisgarh High Court and asked it to decide the matter expeditiously.

The FIR against Singh and Patra was registered a day after Akash Sharma, the Chhattisgarh president of Congress student outfit NSUI, filed a complaint over their tweets on the purported “toolkit” created by the Congress — allegedly to “defame” the country — on May 18.

The BJP leaders were accused of spreading unrest and provoking people through a fake story.

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Hearing a plea by the BJP leaders, the High Court stayed the probe on June 11, stating that the offences alleged are not made out “as the averments of the FIR…clearly indicate that no public peace or tranquility is being adversely affected and it is purely political rivalry between the two parties”.

The HC said: “This, prima facie, establishes that the present FIR has been registered with political motives.”

Challenging this, the state government told the Supreme Court that the High Court had erroneously granted the interim relief right at the stage of admission itself — despite the top court laying down in many cases that extraordinary powers of the HC under Article 226 of the Constitution must be used only sparingly and in rarest of rare cases.

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The investigation was at a nascent stage, contended the state government, adding that the offence of forgery was made out against the accused.

The BJP had alleged that the “toolkit” was made by the Congress to instruct supporters on how to go about campaigning against the Narendra Modi government on sensitive political issues. The Congress has rejected this and called it a forged document.

First published on: 22-09-2021 at 01:01:02 pm
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