HC orders CBI to probe Bengal post-poll violence cases | India News

KOLKATA: The Calcutta high court on Thursday ordered a “court-monitored” CBI probe into cases of murder, rape and attempted rape during the poll process in West Bengal and set up a special investigation team under the supervision of a retired Supreme Court judge to probe other criminal cases.
Both the CBI and the special probe team — comprising senior IPS officers Suman Bala Sahoo, Soumen Mitra and Ranveer Kumar — will have to submit their reports in six weeks and will have to work under the court’s supervision.
A five-judge bench, led by acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, also directed the NHRC, the state government and any other commission or committee that received complaints to hand over all records relating to murder and crime-against-women cases to the CBI. But all cases not related to poll violence would have to be handed back to the local police, the court said, adding that “any obstruction to investigation shall be taken seriously”.
Three members of the bench — Justices IP Mukerji, Harish Tandon and Soumen Sen — gave their “concurring judgments” separately.
The court declined to specify any particular period for “post-poll violence” but included all complaints made during the entire election process, starting from the first day of polling (March 27). “If any offence was committed before declaration of results and had a connection with the election process, it too can be considered as part of post-poll violence,” the bench said.
The state government was considering filing an appeal against the judgment in the Supreme Court “on some specific points”, Sanjay Basu, an advocate for the Bengal government, said. “Many aspects (of the judgement) vindicate our stand,” he claimed.
The acting CJ, in the lead judgment, recorded the NHRC report, the state government’s “exception” petition to the NHRC report, the procedure adopted by the NHRC and commented on the allegations of “bias” against the NHRC and EC’s responsibility.
HC also noted the contradictions between the NHRC and the state government. The NHRC reported 13 rape cases, including two gang rapes where complainants had moved the SC; the state government reported one attempt-to-rape case. The NHRC reported 59 murders; the state government acknowledged 29. The bench also noted that police “closed” some cases after initiating FIRs suo motu.
The judges dealt separately with the allegations of bias against three members of the NHRC because of their affiliation to a political party. “The allegation against the committee is not material because this court has considered not only the report but other materials, including the arguments of the counsels,” Justice Mukerji observed in his judgment.
But, on some of the controversial NHRC observations, he observed that the NHRC panel “had no jurisdiction to make any recommendation or to express any opinion”. He said, “We did not vest them with that power.”

Source link

Leave a Comment