Chief Judge, City Sessions Court, Kundan Kumar Kumai refused the CBI's plea that arrest warrant be issued against the accused who did not appear before the court in contravention of the Calcutta High Court order.
CBI counsel Arun Bhagat had sought an arrest warrant against Mr Gurung, his wife Asha and 20 others including senior GJM leaders when they did not appear before the court yesterday for hearing on framing of charges.
The judge fixed August 1 to 4 for day-to-day hearings on framing of charge against the accused, as also for hearing of discharge petitions filed by accused in the killing of All India Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang.
The judge directed Bidhanagar Police and Kolkata Police to file reports before the court on allegations that some of the accused were questioned and followed after they left the court premises yesterday.
Their counsel Sayan De said 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.
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 legislator 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 request before the court seeking to be represented by their lawyers.
CBI counsel Arun Bhagat had opposed the requests, saying the high court had expressly ordered their presence before the trial court for the hearing. He sought arrest warrants against them for being absent.
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections.