The Supreme Court on Friday allowed former Trinamool Congress MP Saumitra Khan, who is now a BJP candidate and facing a criminal case, to enter Bishnupur constituency in West Bengal for filing his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha polls. The top court allowed Khan to approach the Calcutta High Court seeking modification of its earlier order banning his entry into Bishnupur constituency in Bankura district of West Bengal.
Khan is an accused in cases of allegedly taking money from students on the promise of giving them jobs and illegal sand mining. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said that it is not inclined to entertain the appeal against the high court order of February 18 banning him from entering the jurisdiction of Bankura district till further orders.
Senior advocates P S Patwalia and Neeraj Kishan Kaul, appearing for Khan said that after he joined BJP on January 9, the very next day a false case was lodged against him for illegal sand mining. "Subsequently other cases were also lodged like I had taken money to give job to someone. One school teacher also lodged a case that I had taken money. Similar thing happened when senior BJP leader Mukul Roy joined the party from TMC. The High Court had then quashed the cases lodged against him," Patwalia said.
The bench said it is not inclined to interfere with the appeal but said that Khan can move an application before the high court seeking modification of the earlier order. Patwalia said that at least he be allowed to go to his constituency to file nomination papers which will be filed from April 16.
The bench then allowed Khan to enter Bishnupur constituency for one day to file the nomination papers. The high court had in March extended the ban on Khan, who is contesting the election from Bishnupur parliamentary constituency on a BJP ticket, by six weeks.
The high court had said such a ban was required for a free and fair investigation of cases against Khan considering his political clout in the area.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)