June 2, 2023

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has been issued a notice by the Supreme Court in a matter filed by his director general of police (DGP) Mukesh Gupta (presently suspended). Others such as senior IAS officer Anil Tuteja and the state, through the chief secretary, have also been issued notices. The notice pertains to the ‘hounding’ of Gupta with “malafide intention” and filing of three FIRs against him.

In an almost unprecedented move, the court has not only stayed the proceedings in all the three cases but issued notices to all respondents to file their replies. Gupta is under investigation by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) for illegal phone tapping amongst other things. An FIR was also lodged against him at the Supela police station by his brother-in-law, Miki Mehta, who alleged that he had goaded his sister to suicide.

In his 245-page petition, Gupta made some damning allegations against Baghel. The gist is that he is being hounded because he had registered a case against Baghel when he was the ADG of the EOW. He cited other instances where he was “specifically targeted” by an administration bent upon punishing him for having performed his duties in the past.

What may have impressed Justice Arun Mishra and Justice M.R. Shah is that Gupta made a plea for the cases to be investigated by the CBI, thereby signalling his confidence in the fairness of the investigation. The court has also issued notices to the CBI.

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