The Supreme Court Monday sought response from the West Bengal government and others on a plea filed by BJP leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya, Jisnu Basu, and Pradeep Joshi in a case of alleged assault on a woman and criminal intimidation.
A bench of Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna issued notice to the state government and a woman complainant but refused to grant them any protection.
It asked the petitioners to approach the Calcutta High Court for interim protection.
Meanwhile, the Calcutta High Court extended their interim protection in the case.
In the top court, senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that it was alleged that the complainant woman was raped on November 28, 2018, but the complaint was filed in 2020 after a delay of nearly two years.
The senior lawyer also apprised the bench that the High Court had granted anticipatory bail to the petitioners till October 25 and the same may be extended.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the West Bengal government, submitted that he would not argue on the merit of the matter.
The top court has posted the matter for the next hearing on November 16.
The Calcutta High Court during the day extended the interim protection granted to BJP leaders on their petition.
On December 20, 2019, the woman had lodged complaints at Sarsuna police station in Kolkata and Bolpur police station in Birbhum district under IPC sections for alleged assault and criminal intimidation.
She had moved an application before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Alipore, in Kolkata on November 12, 2020, seeking an investigation into her complaints, but the court had dismissed her prayer for the delay in lodging the complaints of the alleged incident of November 29, 2018, and reasoning that the veracity and truthfulness of the allegation are doubtful.
The woman had then moved a criminal revisional application before the high court challenging the lower court's order.
The high court allowed the application, setting aside the order of the CJM, Alipore, and remitted it back for reconsideration. The CJM on October 8, 2021, directed that the complaint be treated as an FIR.
Mr Vijayvargiya, Mr Basu, and Mr Joshi moved anticipatory bail applications before the high court apprehending arrest in connection with the case.
An SLP was also filed by them before the Supreme Court challenging the earlier order of the high court.