Cal HC grants protection from arrest to actor-politician Hiran in fake audio case

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Kolkata, Jun 10 (PTI) The Calcutta High Court on Monday directed police not to arrest actor-politician Hiranmay Chattopadhyay without its prior permission in connection with a case related to alleged tampering of his opponent candidate Deb's voice in the run up to Ghatal Lok Sabha polls.

However, the court granted permission to police to continue their investigation in the case filed at Ghatal police station in West Bengal's Paschim Medinipur district on May 18.

During the hearing of a petition filed by Chattopadhyay and another person, Justice Amrita Sinha ordered that police refrain from arresting the accused parties without obtaining prior permission from the court.

Both Deepak Adhikari, popularly known as Deb, and Chattopadhyay, who is known as Hiran, are well-known Bengali actors. Deb emerged victorious as a Trinamool Congress candidate against Chattopadhyay, who was representing the BJP, in Ghatal Lok Sabha constituency.

Advocate Rajdeep Majumder, representing Chattopadhyay and his personal assistant, informed the court that the complaint filed by an individual alleged the creation of a fake audio of Deb. Majumder argued that the accusation was unfounded and requested the quashing of the FIR against Chattopadhyay.

He further informed the court that forensic testing of the voice samples in question had not yet been conducted. Majumder urged the court to grant protection to the petitioners until it was established whether the audio had indeed been doctored, as alleged by the complainant.

The petition faced opposition from the state's counsel, who urged the court to allow the investigation to proceed unhindered.

Justice Sinha, on May 24, a day before Ghatal Lok Sabha seat election, had restrained police from taking further action on the FIR until June 17, or until further orders are issued, whichever comes earlier. PTI AMR MNB

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