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After 11 years, Calcutta High Court directs CBI probe in Trinamool leader’s murder

Calcutta High Court. File

Calcutta High Court. File | Photo Credit: SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH


More than 11 years after Trinamool Congress leader Tapan Dutta was killed, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the murder. Tapan Dutta, then vice-president of Trinamool Congress’ Bally Jagacha block unit in Howrah district, was shot dead on May 6, 2011. The TMC leader was spear heading a movement against filling up a large water body when he was shot dead.

“This court directs that investigation and prosecution in the matter is to be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation forthwith. The CBI may, in its discretion, conduct further investigation, as it deems necessary,” Justice Rajasekhar Mantha said in the order. 

 In the 56-page order, Justice Mantha said that the court’s mind is not free from doubt that the murder in question might have been the result of rivalry and conspiracy. 

“The victim may have been obstructing huge monetary and/or political gain that some persons were after. Such persons are politically powerful and well connected. A fair and effective investigation may indeed open a can of worms, or expose any likely role of influential persons. The pressure on the State police and the investigation agencies to shield certain persons and their nefarious actions cannot therefore be ruled out. Change of the investigating and prosecuting agency in the instant case is also necessary to instill faith in the family of the victim and the public at large, the order said.

The matter was investigated by CID of West Bengal Police and the family had alleged that certain names were dropped from the chargesheet. The family members had then approached the Calcutta High Court demanding probe by the CBI. 

Protima Dutta, wife of the slain TMC leader who fought the legal battle for 11 years, said, “It was a slap on the State government which was shielding the culprits”.  Over the past few months, court has directed CBI probe in a number of cases including corruption in recruitment by West Bengal School Service Commission, Bogtui violence and murder of Congress councillor Tapan Kandu in Jhalda.  A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Monday upheld the order of a single bench directing CBI probe in the murder of Tapan Kandu. 

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 10:04:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/after-11-years-calcutta-hc-directs-cbi-probe-in-tmc-leaders-murder/article65510727.ece