Sandeshkhali: SC rebuke for Bengal on opposing CBI probe against pvt person

New Delhi, April 29 (UNI) The Supreme Court Monday asked the West Bengal government their reason for opposing a CBI investigation into the Sandeshkhali incident and questioned the state government’s move approaching the top court to protect an individual’s interest.

A Bench comprising Justice BR Gavai and Justice Sandeep adjourned till July 2024, a Special Leave Petition, filed by the State of West Bengal against the Calcutta High Court’s order, directing the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the allegations of land-grabbing and sexual assaults in Sandeshkhali.

Justice Gavai asked, “Why should the State come as a petitioner for protecting the interest of some private (individual)?”

The Bench was hearing a plea by the West Bengal Government opposing the CBI probe into allegations of sexual assault and forcible land grabbing by Trinamool Congress leader Shahjahan Sheikh, a now-suspended member of the TMC and the main accused in the case.

The Bench adjourned the matter after Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for the state, requested the court to take up the matter after a couple of weeks. He submitted that there is some very important information that could not be collected to be filed with the present SLP.

The Court while acceding to his request directed that his statement that “the pendency of this petition will not be used as a ground for any purposes”.

Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta appearing for the State submitted that there are comments about the State government. Elaborating, he said that it is unfair because the State government has taken full action.

The Case pertains to where the Calcutta High Court had taken a suo motu cognizance of newspaper reports on alleged sexual harassment of women living in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal, and tribal lands that had been forcibly taken over.

Some Enforcement Directorate officers were also assaulted allegedly by followers of Sheikh.

The High Court had then transferred the probe of the attack on the ED officers to the CBI.

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