Calcutta High Court orders CBI probe into post-poll violence in W Bengal

Kolkata : The Calcutta High Court on Thursday ordered a court-monitored CBI probe into incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal.

All case details as required for further investigations should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the HC said.

For other cases, the court directed setting up of an Special Investigation Team (SIT) to be headed by Suman Bala Sahoo and two other police officers.

The directions were given by a five-member bench headed by acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, which had reserved its order on August 3.

The bench also ruled that compensation to victims should be given through direct bank accounts.

Further, no adverse action should be taken without the court’s direction.

Several petitioners had moved the court alleging widespread post-poll violence after the results of Assembly elections were declared on May 2.

The Trinamool Congress returned to power for the third time in a row.

A committee of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had been formed as directed by the court to probe various complaints of post-poll violence across the state. The victims and their families had levelled allegations of murder, rape and destruction of property.

On July 15, the NHRC team had submitted its final report terming the situation a manifestation of the ‘law of the ruler instead of the rule of the law’.

A seven-member committee of the NHRC had earlier looked into the incidents of violence following the West Bengal Assembly elections and recommended a court-monitored CBI probe.

The Calcutta high court also directed that a separate SIT, with senior officers from the West Bengal police, be set up to probe the other allegations cited by the NHRC committee.

This SIT will comprise three IPS officers — Soumen Mitra ( Police Commissioner), Suman Bala Sahoo, and Ranbir Kumar.

The proceedings shall be monitored by a retired judge of the Supreme Court; a detailed order regarding this will be issued later, the Calcutta High Court said.

The report will have to be submitted within six weeks.