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The Supreme Court on Friday protected BJP leaders Arjun Singh, Kailash Vijayvargiya, Pawan Singh, Mukul Roy and Saurav Singh from any coercive steps to be taken by the West Bengal Police in FIRs registered against them which are pending investigation.

The 3-judge bench headed by Justice SK Kaul issued notice on petitions filed by the senior BJP leaders who claimed that false cases were being foisted on them in order to prevent them from entering the state ahead of assembly elections early next year.

All the cases followed a similar pattern where criminal cases were lodged against most of these petitioners after they left the ruling Trinamool Congress and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.

BJP leader Arjun Singh listed 64 criminal cases lodged against him in 2019 which were related to petty offences of breaking public order and causing injury.

The apex court dealt separately with the case of Kabir Bose, who is the BJP spokesperson and who was earlier with TMC. He sought for a report from CISF against an incident where he was arrested as an accused in an attempt to murder case. Bose claimed that he was protected by CISF’s Special Security Group and thus called for the report submitted by CISF, SSG to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Supreme Court directed the report to be placed before it in a sealed cover on the next date of hearing fixed in January.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohtagi appeared for the four BJP leaders including BJP vice president Kailash Vijayvargiya while senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalaani represented Kabir Bose.

Except in Kabir Bose’s petition, in the rest of the matters the bench, also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy, said, “Till the next date of hearing, no coercive steps in any cases should be registered against the petitioners.”

The notice has been sent to the West Bengal government and the West Bengal police