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14 Jun 2021, 15:10 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • Jheeram Ghati: HC grants interim stay on probe into fresh FIR

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15:25 HRS IST

(Edss: Correcting slug)

Bilaspur, Sep 15 (PTI)
The Chhattisgarh High Court has stayed investigation into a fresh FIR registered in May this year by the Bastar Police in connection with the 2013 Jheeram Ghati naxal attack in which 29 people, including leaders of state Congress, were killed.

A division bench of Justice Prashant Mishra and Justice Gautam Chourdiya gave the interim order on Monday after virtually hearing a criminal appeal filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), its counsel B Gopa Kumar said.

Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee and lawyer Shruti Agrawal also appeared for the NIA while Deputy Advocate General Chandresh Shrivastav represented the state government.

On May 25, 2013, naxals had attacked a convoy of Congress leaders in Jheeram valley in Darbha area of Bastar district, killing 29 people, including then state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, former leader of opposition Mahendra Karma and former Union minister Vidyacharan Shukla.

The Bastar police had then registered an FIR at Darbha police station. Subsequently, theNIAtook over the probe.

On May 26 this year, another FIR was registered under sections 302 (Punishment for murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Darbha police station in which complainant Jitendra Mudliyar, a Congress leader, sought to probe the conspiracy angle into the attack.

Mudliyar is the son of Congress leader Uday Mudliyar who was also killed in the Jheeram attack.

Last month, the special NIA court at Jagdalpur (Bastar) rejected the NIA's plea seeking that Bastar Police hand it over all the documents pertaining to the second FIR.

Later, the NIA approached the HC contending that the 2013 FIR was investigated and a chargesheet was filed, Kumar said, adding that the matter was pending before court.

There can be no second FIR and no fresh investigation in respect of the same cognisable offence or same occurrence giving rise to one or more cognisable offences as per the law, Kumar said.

After hearing, the HC issued a notice to the state government seeking its reply and posted the matter for hearing after four weeks.

"In the meanwhile, there shall be stay of the investigation of the second FIR for the offence, until further orders," the HC said.

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