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Vetting files to challenge Bimal Gurung's discharge: CBI to SC

Central Bureau of Investigation
New Delhi, PTI: The CBI today told the Supreme Court that they were vetting the files in order to challenge the lower court's order discharging Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bimal Gurung in the Madan Tamang murder case.

Madan Tamang, who was the All India Gorkha League (AIGL) president, was hacked to death in Darjeeling in broad daylight on May 21, 2010 when he was overseeing preparations for a public meeting.

A trial court in Kolkata had in August this year discharged Gurung in the case while rejecting the CBI's claim that he was involved in the conspiracy to murder Tamang, who was one of his political opponents in the Darjeeling hills.

The issue cropped up before the apex court today when it was hearing an application filed by Bharati Tamang, wife of Madan Tamang, seeking setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) to conduct a court-monitored probe into certain aspects of the case.

Her counsel alleged that Gurung was the one of the prime conspirators, but the CBI has not yet challenged the trial court's order discharging him in the matter.

"Files are being vetted by CBI. Appropriate steps will be taken on order of discharge. It will take reasonable time to challenge the discharge order," the counsel for CBI told a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Amitava Roy.

To this, the petitioner's counsel said they have already challenged the trial court's order in the Calcutta High Court which has admitted their plea that would come up for hearing in the second week of December.

CBI's counsel said their probe into the case was complete and 54 accused have been chargesheeted, of which two were absconding, three had expired and the rest were on bail.

The bench also issued notices to CBI seeking its response within 10 days on separate applications filed by Bharati seeking a stay on the trial proceedings in the case before the lower court and grant of anticipatory bail to other accused in the case.

Referring to telephonic interceptions, her lawyer alleged in the court that Gurung was in touch with the other accused who had attacked Tamang.

Seeking a stay on proceedings before the trial court, her counsel said the other accused, including several GJM leaders, would also seek discharge in the case since Gurung has already been discharged by the court.

The CBI's counsel opposed the contention seeking a stay on the trial proceedings.

The bench, however, said the CBI would have to file a response on the applications and posted the matter for hearing on December 12.

The apex court had in October 2013 directed transfer of hearing in the case from a Darjeeling court to the Kolkata sessions court on a petition by Tamang's widow.

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