The Supreme Court, hearing petitions seeking a CBI investigation into alleged political murders in West Bengal, on Tuesday raised questions on the prevailing situation in the state.
“Much is happening in West Bengal also,” Justice A K Sikri told senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the state, while hearing the petition filed by advocate and BJP leader Gaurav Bhatia seeking probe into three murders in West Bengal.
The comment came as Bhatia argued that the state police had not arrested all the accused in two of the cases, and had closed a third case related to the death of BJP worker Dulal Kumar by ruling it as suicide. Bhatia claimed that the accused were associated with the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).
“Much is happening in the CBI also,” Sibal was quick to retort, forcing Justice Sikri to remark: “That’s why I used the word ‘also’.”
“It’s all political,” said Sibal.
The Bengal government and the CBI have been locked in a tussle over the investigation by the Central agency in chit fund scam cases. Matters reached a flashpoint earlier this month, with the agency claiming that its officers were held hostage by the local police in Kolkata. The state, however, denied the charge.
On Tuesday, Sibal told the bench, which also comprised Justices S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah, that if the petitioner had problems with the closure report, the proper procedure was to go back to the trial court.
Bhatia said there was a delay of 18 days in the registration of the FIR in the case of death of one of the victims – Dulal Kumar.
Sibal, however, denied that there was any delay in filing the FIR. He added that in two of the cases, the police had already filed chargesheet.
Bhatia said that Kumar’s brother had named some TMC workers in his complaint, but none of them were arrested. He also alleged that the post mortem of the body was done only after locals pressurised the administration. Meanwhile, hearing a separate plea by former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh, the bench directed that there should be no coercive actions in the criminal cases against her till the court heard the matter next.