Supreme Court judge withdraws from Bengal violence case

A view of the Supreme Court of India. File   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

Justice Indira Banerjee on Friday withdrew from hearing a petition filed by the families of two BJP activists killed allegedly in the post poll violence in West Bengal.

Justice Banerjee was heading a Vacation Bench, which also comprised Justice M.R. Shah.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta asked whether the case could be placed before another Bench for hearing on Tuesday.

“The Registry will decide,” Justice Shah said.

The case was heard by another Vacation Bench of Justices Vineet Saran and B.R. Gavai in May,in the first half of the summer holidays. It had then come up routinely before Justice Banerjee’s Bench.

On May 25, the State government informed the Justice Saran Bench that FIRs had been registered and several arrests made in connection with the incidents. That Bench asked the State to file an affidavit.

A joint petition was filed by Biswajit Sarkar and Swarnalata Adhikari. Biswajit is the brother of deceased Abhijit Sarkar and Swarnalata the widow of Haran Adhikari.

Alleged subversion of probe

They have alleged “total inaction” and even “subversion” of the investigation on the part of the West Bengal administration and the police.

“The murders happened on the same day the Assembly election results were declared. The police stood by idly... The investigation into the crimes needs to be transferred to the CBI or SIT and requires court-monitoring,” senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, for the relatives, had submitted.

The petition alleged that there was “indiscriminate” killing of innocent people in West Bengal following the election results by the “vengeful” ruling party in the State.

The State countered in the affidavit that these false allegations of State complicity were drawn on the basis of hearsay reports disseminated on social media by miscreants. The apex court was misled about the law and order situation in West Bengal and the petitions “reek of political motivation”, it stated.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 10:33:28 AM |

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