Date: Kolkata, Saturday, July 25, 2020.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister
Government of West Bengal
Sub: State government has its due role in resisting the arbitrary and retrospective move of the NIA in Jangalmahal cases & demand for its revocation.
Ref.: News report as annexed below.
We as a Civil Liberties and Democratic Rights organisation are extremely perturbed at the news of the NIA re-registering cases Suo Motu concerning two incidents of 2009 pertaining to the jurisdiction of Jhargram Court, West Bengal. The two incidents of 11 years back have already been investigated by the state police and charge sheets too have reportedly been submitted and the cases are on the verge of trial. The move of the NIA ignoring these facts surprises every concerned citizen and re-establishes the apprehension over the onset of a hegemonic, autocratic and unitary police state.
Our concern is not restricted to the two cases in particular but the very action and motive of the NIA and its master, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India, is of grave alarm as it infringes on the sovereign right of the state governments and tarnishes further the federal fabric of our Constitution. The action of the NIA is also indicative of further violation of the rights of the people who may have already been released or acquitted or have been facing the rigour of court proceedings for several years. If such a move by the NIA is allowed, anybody can be implicated/re-implicated arbitrarily in even disposed-of cases at the whims and designs and political vendetta of the Union government.
This in turn would further erode the concept of natural justice on the pretext of protecting national security. History testifies that it is the faith and trust between citizens and the government that best ensures security of all and not the spectre of a rogue state.
Suo Motu re-registration of cases retrospectively when original cases have already been probed is a draconian move with ulterior motive and is hitherto unheard of in any criminal justice system.
It must also be said that wishful application of the UAPA by the West Bengal government in taking advantage of undefined terms like ‘TERRORISM’ under provocation of the central government against people’s resistance and protests has worked to erode the legal rights of the state in the matter of law and order and thus helped the centre usurp this constitutional right in this or that way. Not only the government has our legislature had also an important role to play in this regard which in many other surreptitious ways are under threat of usurpation by the Central Government.
We urge the Government of West Bengal to challenge this move administratively and on the floor of the Hon’ble Supreme Court under Article 32 invoking Article 131 of the Constitution of India as well as discussing the said matter at the legislative plane and also ask the Union government to refrain from such illegal, illogical and motivated action unbecoming of a government of a Democratic Republic. Thanks.
Association for Protection of Democratic Rights