SC rejects WB Govt plea against CBI probe into land grabbing, sexual assault allegations in Sandeshkhali

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | July 08, 2024 IST

Supreme Court

New Delhi, July 8: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the West Bengal government's plea challenging Calcutta High Court order directing CBI investigation into allegations of land grabbing and sexual assault in Sandeshkhali.

A bench of justices, BR Gavai and KV Viswanathan, refused to interfere with the Calcutta HC order, which allowed the CBI probe into the matter. The court also commented that WB police had done nothing in the matter for months.

Justifying the Calcutta HC decision, the top court said that high court order pertains to all related incidents. However, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi for West Bengal, replied that they have done many work related to the case and there can't be a a blanket direction. However, the apex court was not convinced but made it clear that today's observations in the order shall not influence the trial or future remedies in connection with case.

The West Bengal government has moved the Supreme Court to challenge the Calcutta High Court's April 10 order for a CBI investigation into allegations of land grabbing and sexual assault in Sandeshkhali. The matter will be heard on April 29 by the Supreme Court's bench of justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta.

West Bengal has approached the top court challenging April 10's order of the Calcutta High Court and saying that the HC has erroneously directed the CBI to investigate and submit a report with regard to the allegations and complaints by the residents of Sandeshkhali. According to plea, the Calcutta HC order disregards the conclusion of investigations into 43 FIRs, all of which have culminated in charge sheets. The sidelining of the state government's actions in favour of political voices risks bias in the investigation, the WB government said.

The state government further added that the High Court decision has cast unsubstantiated aspersions on the investigation carried out by the State Police without taking into account the correct factual matrix and the steps undertaken by the petitioner state in diligently conducting the investigation in all the FIRs forming the subject matter of the appeals.

The West Govt said that observations by the HC are unwarranted, which is likely to shake the confidence of the public and tarnish the reputation of the Police Force. Earlier on April 25, Following the Calcutta High Court order, the Central Bureau of Investigation has registered an FIR against five people and unknown others in connection with the ongoing probe into cases concerning land grabs and crimes against women (sexual) in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal.

The Calcutta High Court had intervened, instructing the CBI to take over the investigation into several alleged offences in the Sandeshkhali region. These offences reportedly include illegal land acquisitions and instances of violence and sexual assault against women. The CBI's move comes amid growing concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in Sandeshkhali, with allegations of rampant criminal activities and exploitation of vulnerable populations.

The FIR marks the commencement of a thorough investigation by the CBI, which aims to bring justice to the victims and ensure accountability for those responsible for the reported offences. As the investigation progresses, authorities anticipate further developments shedding light on the complexities surrounding the issues plaguing Sandeshkhali, underscoring the importance of swift and decisive action in addressing such matters. Earlier, the Calcutta High Court directed a court-monitored investigation by the CBI into the alleged cases of sexual assault and land grabbing in Sandeshkhali. The women of Sandeshkhali in the North 24 Parganas district came out on the streets earlier against the ruling TMC and Shahjahan, accusing the strongman and his aides of perpetrating gross excesses and atrocities on them while also gobbling up their land. Multiple women on the island accused Shajahan and his aides of "land-grab and sexual assault" under coercion.

(ANI)

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