India Supreme Court grants protection from arrest to minister in murder attempt charge

The Indian Supreme Court granted Friday protection from arrest to Union Minister of State Nisith Pramanik in a case with charges of attempt to murder against him. The Minister of State for Home Affairs in the Indian Central Government assists the Union Minister of Home Affairs in managing and overseeing various aspects of internal security and administrative functions.

The court order emphasized that no coercive steps, like arrest, shall be taken against the petitioner until the matter is heard by the High Court, which the court directed to be listed before the Calcutta Circuit Bench at Jalpaiguri on January 22. However, the court refrained from expressing any opinion on the merits, leaving it for the High Court to decide the petition.

The Supreme Court order was in Pramanik’s appeal against the High Court order from January 4. In its order, the high court stated that the State’s lawyer indicated that Pramanik has significant undisclosed criminal antecedents and requested time to provide details of these in an objection. In response to this request, the court decided to list the case before the appropriate bench whenever the next circuit bench becomes available, thereby allowing the request. Subsequently, Pramanik appealed in the Supreme Court against the continuation of criminal proceedings against him. In 2018, an attempted murder case was filed against Pramanik at Dinhata police station in Cooch Behar district, West Bengal. The incident involved a group, allegedly led by Pramanik, firing upon Trinamool Congress workers, resulting in injuries to one individual.

Pramanik is a politician and Member of Parliament affiliated with the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Elected to the Seventeenth Lok Sabha in 2019, he served on the Standing Committee on Information Technology and the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. In 2021, he became an MLA from the Dinhata constituency in West Bengal but resigned to continue his role as an MP. Currently, Pramanik holds the position of Minister of State in both the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 307, attempt to murder involves doing an act with the intent to cause death or with knowledge that it’s likely to cause death, even if death doesn’t occur. The accused can face punishment, including imprisonment, if proven guilty.