THE CALCUTTA High Court on Monday quashed a lower court order in the 2011 Tapan Dutta murder case, while ordering a fresh trial. Dutta, then vice-president of Trinamool Congress’ Bally Jagacha block unit in Howrah, was shot dead on May 6, 2011. The block unit was spearheading a movement to stop the filling up of 750-acre wetland, when Datta was killed.
The first chargesheet filed by the state CID on August 30, 2011, had accused 13 people for the murder, including a Trinamool minister.
However, in the supplementary chargesheet filed on September, 2011, the CID said there was no evidence against some accused, including the minister. The agency went on to remove eight names from the chargesheet.
In June, 2012, Dutta’s wife Pratima moved the Calcutta High Court, demanding a CBI investigation in the case. Four years later, the trial court in Howrah, which was hearing the murder case, acquitted all the five accused while observing that the CID had failed to procure proper evidence.
In May, 2015, while hearing Pratima’s appeal, the single bench of Justice Dipankar Dutta pointed out the loopholes on the part of the police officers, and sent the case to the Chief Justice, urging that it be sent to a division bench.
On Monday, division bench of Justice Debashis Kar Gupta and Justice Mohammed Mumtaz Khan quashed the trial court’s order.
“I have been visiting the high court for the last seven years. Finally, I have got some relief. Due to involvement of a minister in the case, even the public prosecutor acted on behalf of the accused. I have been harassed and threatened. But my faith in judiciary have always been my strength,” Pratima Dutta told mediapersons.