A two-judge division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday stayed a Thursday order in which a single bench of Justice Dipankar Dutta had directed the state DGP to appear before it and had passed caustic observations against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee saying it was due to her that a murder accused TMC leader was yet to be arrested.
The division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi also stayed the proceedings of the case for three weeks on an appeal by the West Bengal government.
The case pertains to the murder of Sagar Ghosh, the father of rebel Trinamool Congress leader Hriday Ghosh who contested as Independent in last year’s panchayat elections. Anubrata Mondal, Trinamool’s Birbhum president, and 40 others are accused of the murder which took place a few days after the TMC leader publicly asked party supporters to burn down houses of rebels contesting the elections.
Appearing for the state, government counsel Ashok Banerjee challenged the order passed by Justice Dutta contending that he had made the observations on the basis of newspaper reports and pictures without verifying the content.
He also stated that there was no requirement for the DGP to appear before the court as he has been submitting reports on the investigation before the court.
Counsel for Hriday Ghosh, son of the slain Sagar Ghosh, opposed the plea.
While giving relief to the DGP, the division bench also called for all records in connection with the matter from the trial court. The bench will take up the case in the first week of May.
On Thursday, Justice Dutta had said in his order that “…the accused Anubrata Mondal is having the blessings of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of the state” and that it can “reasonably be inferred that the DGP or the members of the SIT have dared not to touch him because of the political clout he enjoys”.
The order said that the investigation into the case “has not proceeded in the right direction” directed the DGP to present the facts in the court.
Meanwhile, Hriday Ghosh demanded that the case be handed over to the CBI. He said the HC’s order may hamper the investigations into the case.
In a separate development, in Birbhum district, the CJM court, Siuri allowed the SIT set up by the high court to undertake a polygraph test of the then officer in-charge and sub-inspector of Parui police station who who were investigating the Sagar Ghosh killing case.