New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought responses from the Centre and West Bengal government on a plea seeking a fresh probe into the killing of a Gorkha leader in Darjeeling following allegation that investigation by state police and CBI were "tainted, biased and malafide".
A bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and justices S S Nijjar and J Chelameswar also issued notices to the CBI, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal police and the Darjeeling Police on a petition by Bharati Tamang seeking the probe into the murder of her husband Madan Tamang, president of All India Gorkha League.
Bharati, in her plea, also sought quashing of the charge- sheets filed by the CID and the CBI on August 30, 2010 and August 20, 2011 respectively, saying "investigation has suppressed vital information and evidence whilst submitting both the chargesheet and the supplementary chargesheet in order to exclude the same from the materials to be used in prosecution of the co-conspirators."
She has also sought a direction from the apex court to appoint "an independent Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising of senior officers headed by a competent person or authority of impeccable credentials" to conduct a fresh probe into the conspiracy and murder of Madan Tamang on May 21, 2010 at Darjeeling.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Bharati, sought appointment of the SIT alleging the "police failed to arrest, interrogate and arraign the accused persons named in the complaint and the FIR lodged pursuant thereto which was vital for establishing the extent of the conspiracy to commit the murder."
Tamang was killed allegedly by "a group of about four hundred supporters of Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) carrying deadly arms" on the morning of May 21, 2010 when he was overseeing preparations for a public meeting.
Bharati also said that "despite handing over of investigation to the CBI, the same yielded the arraignment of only one more accused whilst keeping quiet about the role of the main persons against whom allegations had been levelled and against whom substantial evidence is already forthcoming."
She has accused the Centre and the state of trying to protect top leaders of GJMM whom she has arraigned as parties.
GJMM members, who have been made parties in the case, hold posts in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), a semi-autonomous administrative body for the Darjeeling hills in West Bengal, the petition said.
GJMM members, accused by Bharati as co-conspirators in the murder, are Bimal Gurung the Chief Executive and Councillor of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, Asha Gurung the Executive Councillor in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, Roshan Giri, the Executive Councillor of Education in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and 12 others.
On September 26, the Calcutta High Court had granted bail to four persons, Swadesh Rai Majhi, Sipen Maley, Sumi Rai and Puran Rai, accused in case.
Prime accused Nicole Tamang, a GJMM central committee member, fled from CID custody following his arrest on August 15 from a hideout at Bijonbari in Darjeeling.
He fled from CID custody in Pintail village near Siliguri on August 21.
Bharati has alleged in her plea that Nicole was arrested just before the seventh round of talks between the Centre, West Bengal Government and the GJMM and right after the conference he had escaped from custody.