Bengal post-poll violence case: Arguments conclude, Calcutta HC reserves verdict – India Today

Kolkata News

A five-member bench of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a bunch of PILs related to the allegations of post-poll violence in West Bengal. The court had asked the parties concerned to submit any additional documents, if needed, by 2.30 pm today.

During the hearing, the court asked the solicitor general to provide records of all suo moto cases related to post-poll violence in West Bengal. The court also asked the state government to mention whether suo moto cognisance was taken in any cases that were overlapping in the final National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) report submitted on July 13.

The NHRC report had pulled up the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government for alleged lapse in maintaining law and order. The Commission had constituted a committee to investigate veracity of allegations of post-poll violence following an order by the high court.

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Priyanka Tibrewal, one of the petitioners, has made repeated pleas to hand over the investigation to an independent agency or a Special Investigation Team.

Supporting the demand, the Centre too told the court that a central agency like the National Investigation Agency (NIA) or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is ready to investigate cases of post-poll violence in West Bengal. The NHRC had also suggested this in its report.

The lawyer representing the West Bengal Police opposed the plea for CBI investigation claiming that the report of the panel formed by the NHRC chairperson on a direction by a five-judge bench of the high court was baseless and politically motivated.

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Citing the NHRC committee’s report wherein it was stated that complaints were not registered in several cases and “inept performance of local police”, senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, representing one of the petitioners, prayed for handing over the investigation to the CBI as per the report.

He submitted that the state’s claims on violence and crimes against women do not match the findings of the committee, which he said are much higher than the government’s figures.

Meanwhile, appearing for the West Bengal Police, senior advocate Kapil Sibal submitted that the report was biased and that some members of the committee were linked to the BJP.

A five-judge bench headed by acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal has been hearing the post-poll violence cases for the past two months.

(With agency inputs)

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