KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday granted anticipatory bail to BJP leader Mukul Roy in connection with a case of murder of three CPI(M) activists in 2010 in West Bengal's Birbhum district.
Granting anticipatory bail to Roy, a division bench comprising justices Joymalya Bagchi and Suvra Ghosh directed him not to enter Labhpur, Bolpur and Shantiniketan police station areas of the district till further orders.
The bench also asked Roy to surrender before the trial court within four weeks to secure regular bail, besides submitting two sureties of Rs 50,000 each.
Claiming that it was a politically motivated case, Roy's lawyer Sandipan Dasgupta submitted that he was not named in the FIR lodged in the case.
The BJP leader's name also did not crop up in the chargesheet filed in 2014, Dasgupta said.
Altogether 25 persons, including saffron party leader Manirul Islam and his two brothers, were named in the FIR filed in the triple-murder case.
The three names were, however, dropped from the chargesheet filed in 2014.
Manirul, who was a local Left leader in 2010, had joined the Trinamool Congress later and was elected an MLA of the party from Labhpur constituency in Birbhum district.
He switched over to the BJP in 2019.
The high court had in September 2019 ordered further investigation in the murder of three CPI(M) activists, in connection with a petition by relatives of the deceased.
Roy, who was a senior TMC leader before he joined the BJP in November 2017, figured in a supplementary affidavit filed by the police in December, 2019.
An arrest warrant was issued against Roy following the filing of the supplementary chargesheet before the trial court in Birbhum.
Roy had moved the high court on January 6 seeking anticipatory bail following issuance of the warrant. The BJP leader was given protection by the high court from arrest during pendency of his petition.