Five Judges bench of Calcutta High Court ordered for CBI and SIT for investigating post poll violence in West Bengal – Read Order

“The present writ petition filed was first in the series, interalia, praying to combat the post-poll violence and take corrective as well preventive action. Direction was also sought to open Control Room so as to enable the victims to lodge their complaints online or over telephone. As an interim measure direction was sought to the respondents to help the post-poll violence victims. The result of the Assembly polls was declared on May 02, 2021. The present writ petition was filed immediately thereafter”.

Pronounced on: August 19, 2021

WPA(P) 142 of 2021

Susmita Saha Dutta
Vs.
The Union of India and Ors.

Coram:

THE HON’BLE JUSTICE RAJESH BINDAL, CHIEF JUSTICE (ACTING)
THE HON’BLE JUSTICE I.P. MUKERJI
THE HON’BLE JUSTICEHARISH TANDON
THE HON’BLE JUSTICESOUMEN SEN
THE HON’BLE JUSTICESUBRATA TALUKDAR

ORDER

82. In view of our aforesaid discussions, we direct as follows:

i) All the cases where, as per the report of the Committee, the allegations are about murder of a person and crime against women regarding rape/attempt to rape, shall be referred to CBI for investigation. The Committee, NHRC, any other Commission or Authority and the State shall immediately hand over entire record of the cases entrusted to the CBI for investigation. It is made clear that it shall be the Court monitored investigation. Any obstruction in the course of investigation by anyone shall be viewed seriously. 

ii) For other cases, as have been referred to in the report of the Committee, Special Investigation Team is constituted for monitoring the investigation. The team shall be headed by Suman Bala Sahoo, and Soumen Mitra and Ranveer Kumar, all IPS officers of the West Bengal cadre, shall be its members The SIT shall be entitled to take assistance of any other officer/police officer or any institution or agency for carrying out fair investigation of the cases. It is made clear that it shall be Court monitored investigation. The State shall spare their services for the purpose, as and when required and shall not take any adverse action against them without specific permission of the Court. The working of the SIT shall be overviewed by a retired Hon’ble Judge of Hon’ble the Supreme Court, for which separate order shall be passed after taking his/her consent. His/her terms of appointment shall be decided later on.

iiI) Notice issued to Rashid Munir Khan, Deputy Commissioner of Police, South Suburban Division, Kolkata vide order dated July 13, 2021, to show-cause as to why proceedings for contempt be not initiated against him, shall be dealt with later.

iv) As the core issue regarding the post-poll violence and the action required to be taken thereon has been resolved with the directions for proper investigation of cases by the CBI and the SIT as referred to above, the matters now shall be placed before the Division Bench for dealing with other issues in the report and further proceedings.

v) The application bearing CAN No 4/2021 in WPA(P) 142 of 2021 filed by the Partha Bhowmick and Jyotipriya Mallick for impleading as parties to the proceedings, is rejected as they are neither necessary nor proper parties to the proceedings for the issues being dealt with by this Court.

vi) The sealed cover (Annexure – I) submitted by the Committee along with its report, second autopsy report of Abhijit Sarkar, DNA analysis report as submitted by the Director Command Hospital, Kolkata and any other sealed cover pertaining to the case, lying with the Registrar General of this Court shall be handed over to the authorised officer of the CBI against proper receipt. Any documents/material therein, which is not relevant to the cases to be investigated by the CBI shall be handed over by it to the head of the SIT.

vii) Immediate action shall be taken by the State to pay compensation to the victims of crime as per the policy of the State, after due verification. It shall be direct bank transfer in their accounts. The same will not debar them to claim further compensation under any law or scheme of the Government, for which the victims shall be at liberty to avail of their appropriate remedies.

viii) We direct the CBI and the SIT to submit its status report in Court within six weeks from today.

ix) The CBI or the officer heading the SIT shall be entitled to file application for any further direction to enable them to carry out investigation expeditiously and in a fair manner. Such an application shall be listed before the Division Bench, as per roaster.

x) All the authorities in the State or any other agency, if requested, are directed to cooperate with the CBI and the SIT in conducting fair investigation of cases.

xi) It is further directed that in case CBI or SIT finds any case to be not related to post poll violence, the same shall be transferred to the officer incharge of the concerned police station for further proceedings. Entire record pertaining to the same shall be handed over to the concerned officer against proper receipt.

xii) It is made clear that any observation made in this order is only for the limited purpose of deciding the issue whether investigation is to be handed over to CBI and Special Investigation Team. Nothing observed shall be construed as an expression of opinion on the merits of the cases.

83. Adjourned to October 04, 2021. To be placed before the Division Bench, as per roster.


Read the whole Calcutta High Order

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