The Calcutta High Court on Monday directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to complete investigation into the death of student activist Anis Khan within 1 month. Anish Khan was found dead at his home in Amta block in Howrah district in the early hours of Saturday, February 19, 2022 under mysterious circumstances.
The Court had earlier taken suo moto cognisance of the case after terming the incident as ‘grave and shocking‘.
Justice Rajasekhar Mantha had earlier turned down a prayer for a CBI probe and had allowed the State government-appointed Special Investigation Team to continue with its probe but under the supervision of a Howrah district judge. The Court had also ordered for a second post mortem to be conducted by the SIT under the supervision of the Howrah district judge.
On the last day of hearing, Justice Mantha had taken on record the report of the SIT and had further ordered that a copy of the report should be served to the senior counsel appearing for the petitioner.
On Monday, Justice Mantha directed the SIT to complete investigation into the case within 1 month without any delay following which the Court would take a decision as to whether the investigation is required to be handed over to the CBI. The Court further underscored that the investigation should be conducted in an impartial manner.
The Court further directed that the forensic report prepared pursuant to the examination of the mobile phone of the deceased should be submitted within 1 week.
Accordingly, the matter was listed for further hearing on April 17.
Justice Mantha had earlier ordered that the mobile phone of the deceased should be sealed in presence of the petitioner or his representative by the concerned Investigating Officer (IO) of the SIT and transmitted to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory at Hyderabad. The District Judge had also been directed to examine the mobile phone of the deceased and the Test Identification parade in particular.
The Court had further averred that the the District Judge shall be entitled to nominate any person of the rank of a Magistrate to be present at the time of the post mortem. The post mortem and all investigations of all witnesses shall be videographed and copies should be made available to the District Judge, it had been directed further.
Student activist Anish Khan was found dead at his home in Amta block in Howrah district in the early hours of Saturday, February 19, 2022. Khan’s murder has also sparked a large-scale students’ protest at the Aliah University of Kolkata, where he was enrolled in an integrated five-year-long Master of Business Administration (MBA) Course. Khan also played a pivotal role in the 137-day-long protest by Aliah University students against the state government’s policies.
Alleging that four persons had come to their house on Friday night donning police and civic volunteer uniforms, Khan’s father has claimed that his son was pushed off the third floor of their house in Amta. Khan’s family has been demanding a CBI investigation into the death.
West Bengal Police had constituted a three-member SIT on Tuesday to probe the death of a student in Aliah University. The team is led by the Additional Director General of Police of CID Gyanwant Singh. According to the state government order, the SIT will submit its report within 15 days.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had given the direction for the constitution of an SIT after protests had erupted over the murder of Aliah University student Anis Khan.
Case Title: Court in its own Motion Anis Khan v. State of West Bengal