West Bengal post-poll violence: Supreme Court issues notice on state govt plea against Calcutta HC order directing CBI probe

The Supreme Court has today issued notice in a plea filed by the State of West Bengal against the Calcutta High Court order of August 19 directing a CBI investigation into cases of rape, murder and offence against women during the post-poll violence in the state earlier this year. 

“You have a made case for issuance of notice. We will give them some time for filing a reply. You have made out a case for issuance of notice. We will give them time to file a counter,” said the bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose to Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal appearing for the State Government. 

The Court noted in its order, “The petitioner is permitted to serve notice dasti. The court would hear the matter on October 7, 2021.” The Court further stated that Writ Petition, which are filed by victims and similar petition arising of the same issue, shall be listed along with the main petition on the same date. The investigation by CBI shall be subject to the outcome of the petition, said the Court. 

In its petition, the state government questioned the fairness and independence of the CBI, contending the agency was acting at the behest of the Central government and was targeting leaders and workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC). The State of West Bengal had moved the Apex Court against the order passed by the Calcutta High Court on August 19, 2021. 

“The high court order was erroneous for it did not give sufficient opportunities to the state government and wrongly relied on a report by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) inquiry committee, which comprised members with close association with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the central government,” read the plea. 

Claiming that there were concerted efforts being made to discredit a democratically elected state government, the petition submitted that the West Bengal government was committed to conducting a free and fair probe itself and that the order on the CBI investigation must go.

Pursuant to the direction by the Calcutta High Court on August 19 to probe allegations of post-poll killings and other serious crimes in West Bengal, the CBI has initiated its probe and has registered more than two dozen cases. The CRPF have been asked to provide security to members of the four CBI teams, comprising seven members in each team.
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