Thursday, 29 September 2016

Madang Tamang Murder Case: Calcutta High Court to Hear Anticipatory Bail Pleas

The Calcutta High Court today said it will hear anticipatory bail prayers of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung and 23 others in connection with the Madan Tamang murder case, in which all of them are accused. Rejecting CBI’s contention that the high court cannot hear the anticipatory bail pleas as the investigation is being monitored by the Supreme Court, a division bench comprising Justices Ashim Kumar Roy and M M Banerjee said that it will hear the petitions on October 3. The bench said since the charge sheet in the case was filed by CBI before a Kolkata court and arrest warrants were also issued by it against the accused persons, the high court has the jurisdiction to hear the anticipatory bail petitions. It had earlier granted relief to Gurung and the other accused persons by directing CBI not to arrest them before disposal of their anticipatory bail prayers.
CBI had on May 29, 2015 filed a charge sheet against the GJM leaders under IPC sections for murder and criminal conspiracy in the Tamang case. The investigating agency had filed the final supplementary charge sheet before the court against Gurung, who is also the chief of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in Darjeeling, his wife Asha, former GJM leader Harkabahadur Chettri, GJM Assistant General Secretary Binoy Tamang, Pradeep Pradhan, Deputy Chief Executive of GTA Col Ramesh Allay and 17 others for criminal conspiracy, murder and other charges. Prime accused in the case Nickol Tamang had, however, disappeared mysteriously from Pintail village near Siliguri, in August 2010 where he was being held by the state CID for interrogation following his arrest. Pema Tamang, wife of Nickol Tamang, had moved a habeas corpus petition before the Calcutta High Court praying that her husband be traced. The high court had then directed CBI to take up the Madan Tamang murder case and the Nickol Tamang disappearance case. All India Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang had been hacked to death in Darjeeling town on May 21, 2010 when he was overseeing preparations for a public meeting. Tamang’s widow Bharati had moved the Supreme Court seeking early completion of investigation and arrest of the accused persons.