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'Comprehensive Investigation Required': Calcutta HC Orders CBI To Probe Death Of Eye-Witness In Murder Case Of Congress Councillor Tapan Kandu

Aaratrika Bhaumik
13 April 2022 7:47 AM GMT
Comprehensive Investigation Required: Calcutta HC Orders CBI To Probe Death Of Eye-Witness In Murder Case Of Congress Councillor Tapan Kandu
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The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday ordered a CBI investigation into the unnatural death of Niranjan Baishnab, who was believed to be an eyewitness to the murder of Congress councillor Tapan Kandu in the Purulia district.The Court had earlier directed the CBI to probe into the the death of former Congress councillor of Jhalda Municipality in Purulia, Tapan Kandu who was reportedly shot dead...

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday ordered a CBI investigation into the unnatural death of Niranjan Baishnab, who was believed to be an eyewitness to the murder of Congress councillor Tapan Kandu in the Purulia district.

The Court had earlier directed the CBI to probe into the the death of former Congress councillor of Jhalda Municipality in Purulia, Tapan Kandu who was reportedly shot dead by miscreants on March 13. Some motorcycle-borne persons had reportedly shot Tapan dead when he had gone for a walk near his residence.

Justice Rajasekhar Mantha ordered that the case papers in the matter to be handed to the central agency, which is already probing the councillor's killing pursuant to the Court's earlier orders. 

Kandu's widow Purnima had prayed for the transfer of the probe into Baishnab's death to CBI, claiming that it has a direct link with the murder of the Congress councillor of Jhalda municipality. Baishnab, Kandu's friend, was found dead at his residence on April 6, two days after the Court had ordered a CBI probe into Kandu's murder.

The Court observed that it cannot find any discrepancies in the investigation conducted so far by the State police however since the deceased Niranjan Baishnab, was an eye witness to a murder which is already being probed by the CBI, for the purpose of a comprehensive investigation, the death of Niranjan Baishnab should also be investigated by the CBI. 

"This Court as of now cannot find any fault with the investigation conducted by the State police. However, given the fact that the deceased Niranjan Baishnab, was an eye witness to a murder which has already been transferred to and investigated into by the CBI, in the fitness of things and for the purpose of comprehensive investigation, this Court is of the view that the investigation into the death of Niranjan Baishnab being, F.I.R. No.50 of 2022 dated 7th April, 2022, of Jhalda Police Station must also be transferred to the C.B.I. for the purpose of further investigation", the Court ordered. 

The Court further noted that the statement of the deceased was also recorded by the State police in connection with the investigation into the death of Tapan Kandu. The petitioner had prayed for a CBI probe by contending that since the deceased Niranjan Baishnab, was crucial eye witness to the murder of Tapan Kandu, the investigation into the death of Niranjan Baishnab must also be conducted by the C.B.I.

It may be noted that the State government has moved a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj against the order of the Single Judge directing the CBI to probe into the murder of the Congress councillor Tapan Kandu. 

Case Title: Purnima Kandu & Anr v. The State of West Bengal & Ors

Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Cal) 117

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