New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate from West Bengal’s Barackpore Lok Sabha constituency Arjun Singh protection from arrest for the next seven days in several cases lodged against him by the state police.

Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar appearing for Singh cited the strike by lawyers in West Bengal as reason for approaching the apex court.

A vacation bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and M.R. Shah took note of the submissions that the BJP leader be granted protection from arrest as he wanted to be present during counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections on 23 May at Barrackpore.

“Violence is taking place there. You [Singh’s counsel] know it very well," the bench had said while agreeing to hear the Singh’s plea.

While the matter was being heard, Kumar said around 20 false criminal cases have been registered against Singh to prevent him from being present during the counting of votes.

The Supreme Court clarified that the state police shall not arrest Singh until 28 May, while allowing the BJP candidate to file for bail in the appropriate court.

West Bengal has seen some of the worst violence during the election campaign, with the ruling Trinalmool Congress and BJP accusing each other of instigating clashes.

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