The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CB) into the unnatural death of former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) Kalikho Pul.
The PIL was filed by a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Social Vigilance Team. The bench comprising of Justices UU Lalit, Indira Banerjee and KM Joseph noted that the plea has been filed 4 years after the incident and that the petitioner has no connection with the deceased.
The court allowed the NGO to withdraw the plea before the apex court and take remedies as are open in law. The top-court, further added that it would not entertain the plea of the NGO as it is a stranger to the criminal proceedings, who has no connections with Pul.
“The person committed suicide four years ago. You made a representation one year later and you have no relationship with the deceased. Either you withdraw or we will dismiss,” the Bench remarked.
Senior Advocate Siddhartha Dave the council for the petitioner sought liberty to approach the High Court.
“We will only say you can seek appropriate remedy as are open in law,” the Court responded.
The petitioner then proceeded to withdraw the petition.
As reported by Live Law, Justine Lalit pointed out that the widow of Kalikho Pul had approached the Supreme Court in 2017, and that matter was withdrawn with liberty to approach the President of India with a representation.
“Earlier, the wife of the man had approached us. I recollect that I was part of the bench which Justice Goel was presiding. That matter was withdrawn with the understanding that the President will be approached as several names were mentioned in the letter (alleged suicide note left by Pul)”.
When Justice Lalit enquired about the proceedings with the President, Dave informed that nothing happened so far.
Justice Lalit then pointed out that the PIL has been filed by a complete stranger who is not even aware of the stage of probe and has no connection with Pul. Thereafter, Dave withdrew the plea and sought liberty to approach the High Court.
Reportedly, the plea contended that police did not do any proper investigation in the matter, irrespective of Kalikho Pul leaving behind a 60-page note as “Mere Vichar”(My views) in which he included names of some sitting as well as former Supreme Court judges and politicians mentioning corruption and corrupt practices.
Late Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul became chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh on 19 February 2016, was only in power till July 2016 until a Supreme Court verdict dismissing Pul’s government, following which he stepped down as the CM.
On 9 August 2016, Pul allegedly committed suicide by hanging at his official residence in Itanagar; Pul’s supporters protested in Itanagar demanding an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
In 2017, his wife Dangwimsai Pul demanded a CBI probe into the corruption charges levelled by Pul.
Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Pul’s wife Dangwimsai Pul objected to the Court hearing as the note written by Pul, names the top court and High Court judges who could be probed for corruption with prior permission from the CJI.
“If the CJI himself is the person against allegations are made, then the government shall consult any judge of the SC,” Dave had said.
He further sought consideration on the administrative side for in-house probe as certain judges were also allegedly named in the suicide letter. The petition was later withdrawn with liberty to approach the President.