In what is being construed as a major setback to the Trinamool Congress government, the Calcutta High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday to conduct an inquiry into the death last year of an inmate in a home for destitute women at Gurap in Hooghly district.

The victim’s body was exhumed from the premises of the home in July 2012.

Hearing a public interest litigation, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Jaymalya Bagchi asked the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to hand over the documents related to the case to the CBI.

The victim, Gudiya, was a 32-year-old mentally challenged woman. Her body was exhumed amid allegations that she had been tortured and killed. She had gone missing since June 26.

The State CID took over the investigations on July 15 following which bodies of two other inmates of the home were dug out from adjoining Bardhaman district.

 The Court also ordered that compensation be given to family members of the three victims. The matter will come up for hearing again after four weeks.

 The CID had filed the charge sheet in this case in October 2012. Nine persons including the secretary of the home that was recognised by the State Government were arrested in the case. However, most of the arrested were released on bail.  Political parties in the Opposition said that the High Court’s dissatisfaction with the investigations conducted by the CID emphasises the fact that the agency is being politically influenced.

 Stating that even though this particular case was not a political one, Mohd Salim, Central Committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said that the CID seems to have been reduced into an agency that frames cases to implicate CPI (M) leaders.

“The State Government should be ashamed about how the Administration is using CID for political purposes to lodge false cases and slow down investigations in cases where it is necessary,” he said.

State Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya said that the High Court’s directive is embarrassing for the State Government that is trying to influence the CID.

Welcoming the Court’s directive, he said it was necessary to bring out the truth in this matter.