SC grants pre-arrest bail to Mamata’s election agent in murder case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted anticipatory bail to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s election agent and Trinamool Congress leader S K Supiyan in connection with a murder case of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker, which is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Abhay S. Oka said “considering the peculiar facts of the case, we are of the view that the appellant deserves to be granted pre-arrest bail”.

The bench, however, said that Supiyan “will have to fully cooperate with the respondent (CBI) for investigation and will have to remain present for investigation as and when called upon by the investigating officer” and added “we make it clear that the pre-arrest bail granted to the appellant is liable to be cancelled if it is found that the appellant is not cooperating for the investigation”.

The case relates to the alleged murder of BJP worker Debabrata Maity in Nandigram in May last year during the violence that flared up across the state after the assembly elections. Maity suffered injuries in an alleged mob violence incident on May 3, 2021 and succumbed to injuries on May 13.

Supiyan was the polling agent for Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram.

On Wednesday, the apex court noted that the incident is of May 3, 2021 and though the CBI had taken over investigation on August 30, 2021, it had not named Supiyan as an accused in the chargesheet filed on October 5, 2021, or the supplementary chargesheet dated January 9, 2022.

Supiyan had approached the apex court against the November 29, 2021 order of the Calcutta High Court dismissing his anticipatory bail plea.

The Calcutta High Court had directed the probe agency to investigate post-poll violence cases in the state.

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