The Supreme Court on Friday asked West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and law minister MoloyGhatak to file fresh applications in the Calcutta high court giving reasons for their late filing of affidavits in the Narada scam case.
Submissions of CM and law minister
Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi appeared for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Law Minister MoloyGhataksubmiited that aruguments before the larger bench started only on May 31, 2021. On may 27, 2021, larger bench stated that it would first decide the applications before proceedings with the case relating to bail granted to TMC leaders in the Narada scam.
On June 2,2021, the CBI filed an additional affidavit. On June 3,2021, The Solicitor General finished his arguments for CBI. On June 7,2021, The State filed its counter. On June 9,2021, Banerjee and Ghatak filed their counter-affidavits.
The counter-affidavits of Banerjee and Ghatak stated the allegations made by the CBI that the protests led by them on May 17 against the arrest of TMC leaders vitiated the bail hearing before the Special CBI Court at Kolkata.
However bench refused to take the counter affidavit of banjree and ghatak by stating that the it was an attempt to fill the launae after the arguments of solicter general. Mr. diwvedi remarked that The concept of 'not-allowing filling of lacunae' is only there in civil proceedings and not in criminal proceedings",
Submissions of state of west Bengal
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, showing up for the State of West Bengal, stated that the High Court rules offer right to a party to file a reply. It was distinctly out of courtesy that the State asked for permission to file a reply, otherwise there was no need to ask such consent, since it's anything but a right. Such right can't be presumed to be surrendered. Only if the High Court has given a period limit to file a reply , the filing of counter-oath can be banished past such time-limit, Mr.Singh said.
On May 27,2021, state was impleaded as a party and notice was also served to law minister and chief minister. On may 31,2021, state marked a objection on the maintainaboity of petition.
On this mr.singh stated that 5-bench judge had decided to first hear recall applications of 4 TMC leaders and from may 27,2021, bench will aruguments related to recall applications.
Submissions of CBI
Soliciter General Tushar Mehta, showing up for the CBI, stated that the Advocate General was available in all procedures and orders of May 17 and 19 were passed only after hearing him. Despite the fact that state was not joined as a party then, at that point, the Advocate General was heard.
Further, general Tushar mehta, what was filed by CBI on June 2, 2021 was not a affidavit, it only a chronolgy of events, which was presented on the request of bench made after oral arguments on may 31,2021.
He also stated that the state was represented throughout the hearing and that they waited till June 9., 2021 taking a "calculated risk", to file the affidavits belatedly, to "fill up the lacunae" within the case.
The soliciter general also stated that the Supreme Court can ask the parties to form an invitation before the Calcutta high court asking for permission to file an affidavit.
First of all , Justice Saran asked Senior Advocate Vikas Singh that, if any application was filed along side the affidavit asking for permission for take it on record.
Justice saran remarked that,
You were aware of the proceedings from Day 1. You decided to file it on 7 and 9. There can be a presumption that you simply waived your right. Whether that presumption is true or not is another matter. Why you haven't, there should be an evidence . Is there any application?".
Further justice Maheshwari added that,
"If in the midst of hearing, if you would like toput anything on record, probably you were required to submit an application stating why the affidavit could not be filed earlier",.
The bench submitted that it can remand the interest the supreme court if the parties comply with file such an application. on this Dwivedi answered that, "The reasons stated within the impugned order will come in our way".
The bench stated that it'll ask the supreme court to think about the matter afresh. The soliciter general stated that the right of the CBI to oppose such an application ought to be reserved. However, The benchinformedthe SG that such a right follows the freedom granted to the parties .
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh said that if CBI might be allowed to file an affidavit without an application on June 2, the state couldn't put to a special treatment. The bench said that it had been not going into the merits of the dispute and can leave all contentions hospitable be raised within the application.
The bench said that it'll put aside the June 9 order, and can ask the parties to file the appliance to simply accept the affidavit on June 28. The High court is slated to listen to the matter next on June 29.
At the past hearing, the bench had suspend or adjourned the matter as same has been enrolled during the course of the day by Justice Aniruddha Bose. The court further extended the order of the bench which is headed by Justice Hemant Gupta on 18th June, 2021.
The Court stated that “The Supreme Court had noted earlier on June 18 that the High Court may not take up the matter on 21 and 22.Since the matter could not be taken up today, we hope the High Court will not take up the matter on any date prior to the 25th",
The ordered was challenge of the Calcutta High Court on June 9, it was observed that the Chief Minister, Law Minister and State had “waited for the arguments in the case to be substantially completed before seeking to place on record their pleadings in response…It is nothing else bubut filling the lacunae or supporting the accused. That is why, even the learned Counsels appearing for the accused are also supporting the prayerprayer. "
The pleas has been filed before the Supreme Court that ‘rights which is granted by law should not be hampered’, especially when the CBI was permitted to file additional affidavits. This contention was presented by Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who is representing the Law Minister who submitted that if the affidavit was ignored then the justice would not be served.
However, Solicitor – General Tushar Mehta had objected to affidavits being taken on record in light of the arguments being completed.
Earlier the petition was filed by the State and the Stat Law before the Supreme Court and later the new petition has been filed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Direction issued by the Supreme Court:
1. In view of the fact and circumstances, on 29.06.2021 the date was fixed by the High Court, that the petitioners may file their respective application giving reasons to bring the counter affidavits filed by them on 7.06.2021 and 9.06.2021 respectively on 28.06.2021 (Monday), after serving the advance copies on the counsel for the CBI and other parties before 27.06.2021.
2. They make a request from the High Court first decide the aforementioned application of the petitions, for taking the counter affidavit in response on record, before proceeding to decide the merits of the 5 cases.
3. They further added that to avoid any kind of discrimination or loss to any parties, the order dated 9.06.2021 shall stand annulled or cancelled and the High Court shall decide the matter denova.