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West Bengal Post Poll Violence: Calcutta High Court Takes On Record NHRC Committee's Final Report; Adjourns Case To July 22 For Arguments

Akshita Saxena
13 July 2021 1:24 PM GMT
West Bengal Post Poll Violence: Calcutta High Court Takes On Record NHRC Committees Final Report; Adjourns Case To July 22 For Arguments
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The Calcutta High Court has taken on record the final report submitted by a Committee of the National Human Rights Commission, which examined the allegations of post-poll violence in West Bengal. Based on the Committee's interim report, the High Court had observed on July 2 that the 2021 Assembly elections in the state were prima facie followed by violent episodes, leading to...

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The Calcutta High Court has taken on record the final report submitted by a Committee of the National Human Rights Commission, which examined the allegations of post-poll violence in West Bengal.

Based on the Committee's interim report, the High Court had observed on July 2 that the 2021 Assembly elections in the state were prima facie followed by violent episodes, leading to several deaths, rampant sexual exploitation of women and children, etc.

Today, Advocate Subir Sanyal sought leave of the Court to submit the final report of the Committee. Five sets of report have been filed by the Committee in separate sealed covers along with annexures. 

The Court has briefly perused the same, and without expressing any opinion on the findings, has directed that a copy of the same be supplied to counsels appearing for all the parties.

A week's time has been granted for filing of objections/ reply to the report and the matter has been fixed for arguments on July 22.

"This cannot be delayed," ACJ Bindal remarked today while rejecting Advocate General Kishore Datta's request to grant more time.

In its previous order, the 5-Judge Bench hearing the matter had ordered second autopsy of deceased BJP member Abhijit Sarkar who was allegedly killed by TMC members during alleged post-poll violence.

Today, the Court was informed that the autopsy has been conducted and a report in that regard will be submitted to Court in a sealed cover. However, Sarkar's brother Biswajit has expressed inability to recognize the body on account of its bad condition. It was also stated that Biswajit has given consent to give his sample for DNA matching for ascertaining the identity of the body.

Accordingly, the Court has ordered that Biswajit's blood sample be collected at the Command Hospital, Kolkata and be sent to CFSL, Kolkata in a sealed cover, for DNA analysis and matching with the dead body, on a priority basis.

"Let samples for DNA analysis of Biswajit Sarkar be taken at the Command Hospital on July 15, 2021 at 11 A.M. Biswajit Sarkar shall carry his Aadhar Card at the time of giving his sample...Director, CFSL, Kolkata is directed to conduct DNA analysis of both the samples at the earliest on priority basis and submit a report to this Court in a sealed cover within one week," the Court ordered.

During the hearing, AG Datta had requested that investigating officer should be allowed to present at the time of taking sample of Mr. Biswajit Sarkar. The proposition was strongly objected by Sarkar's counsel, Mahesh Jethmalani, who stated that they have filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking transfer of investigation to an independent agency.

Following this, the Court observed,

"We don't consider that presence of investigating officer is required as sample of Biswajit Sarkar has to be taken in the Command Hospital. They shall ensure his identify before taking the sample and that both the samples are sent to the Director, CFSL, Kolkata for analysis."

It further ordered that the alleged dead body shall be retained in safe condition until further order is passed by the Court.

Affidavit of Rashid Munir Khan, DCP, South Kolkata is also taken on record. The court had issued notice to him on the previous date, asking him to show cause why proceedings for contempt be not initiated against him for failing to prevent obstruction to the NHRC team visiting to probe the allegations of post poll violence.

Case Title: Susmita Saha Dutta v. Union of India & Ors. (and other connected matters)

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