West Bengal Post Poll Violence: Calcutta High Court Directs CBI, SIT To File Additional Status Reports By December 23

Update: 2021-11-08 07:09 GMT

The Calcutta High Court on Monday took on record the latest status report filed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the Court to investigate cases other than murder, rape and crimes against women that had allegedly taken place post the declaration of the West Bengal assembly elections in May 2021. The Court vide order dated August 19 had also directed the Central Bureau...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
Please Subscribe for unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments, Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.

The Calcutta High Court on Monday took on record the latest status report filed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the Court to investigate cases other than murder, rape and crimes against women that had allegedly taken place post the declaration of the West Bengal assembly elections in May 2021. The Court vide order dated August 19 had also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct investigation of cases related to murder, rape and crime against women that had allegedly taken place in the aftermath of the declaration of election results.  

On the previous date of hearing, the Court had taken on record the status report flied by the CBI as well as the preliminary report submitted by the SIT pertaining to the investigation of post poll violence cases. 

A Bench comprising newly appointed Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice I.P Mukerji  on Monday perused the new status report submitted by the SIT and accordingly recorded in its order, 

"Counsel for the SIT has filed a status report in the sealed cover which has been opened and perused. Report indicates that number of cases are under investigation and that the SIT is taking further steps of monitoring them. Hence we are of the view that a further status report is required to be filed after some reasonable time showing progress in the matter."

Additional Solicitor General Y.J Dastoor appearing for the CBI apprised the Bench that investigation is being carried out by the CBI and that so far 40 FIRs have been registered so far. In many cases, charge sheets have also been filed, the counsel further submitted. 

To this, the Bench enquired, "That is your previous report, what is the present status?"  In response, ASG Dastoor submitted that a fresh status report will be filed before the next date of hearing. 

Accordingly, the Court directed both the SIT as well as the CBI to file new status reports before or on the next date of hearing which is slated to take place on December 23

During the course of the hearing, certain counsels appearing for the petitioners apprised the Bench that no steps had been taken by the State government regarding compensation of victims despite prior orders of the Court.

On the previous date of hearing, a Bench comprising former Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj had expressed strong reservations to the fact that the State government had not yet extended any compensation to victims of post poll violence. The Court vide order dated August 19 had directed the State of West Bengal to immediately process the compensation for the victims of the post-poll violence. Opining on such conduct of the State government, the Bench had recorded in its order, "this apparently shows total casual attitude in a serious matter."

On Monday, the Bench directed the counsels to wait till the fresh status reports are filed by the SIT and the CBI in this regard and further stated that the Court would pass directions regarding compensation after perusal of such status reports. 

Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava remarked while addressing the counsels for the petitioners, "if you wait till the report comes, you will have the facts and figures, you can formally indicate the problems you are having..wait for some time, let the report come"

Furthermore, advocate Priyanka Tibrewal appearing for the petitioners apprised the Court that close to 60 people had been displaced from their homes in Barrackpore owing to the post poll violence. She further submitted that such persons have still not been allowed to go back to their houses. 

To this, Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava remarked, "Have you placed the details of those people in your matter? Place those names on record, we will consider."

Accordingly, the Court recorded in its order, "Some of the counsels raised an issue that certain persons have been ousted from houses and not been permitted to go back to their workplaces. File an application disclosing details of such persons by giving advanced copy to the Advocate General who has assured that he will look into it." 

Advocate General S.N Mookherjee accordingly assured the Court that he would take appropriate steps in this regard. 

On September 29, the Supreme Court had issued notice in the petition filed by the State of West Bengal challenging the High Court's direction for CBI investigation into cases of murder, rape and crimes against women which allegedly took place during the post-poll violence in West Bengal. A bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose had observed that the State of West Bengal through its counsel Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal has made out a prima facie case for issuance of notice. 

Case Title: Anindya Sundar Das v. Union of India and other connected matters

Similar News