Kolkata: In a setback to the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court Wednesday directed CBI to investigate the Parui murder case after holding that the entire probe by state agencies was tainted with extraneous interference.
Justice Harish Tandon directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by the West Bengal DGP to hand over all the material related to the inquiry to CBI.
The high court will monitor the progress of the CBI probe with Justice Tandon directing the agency to file reports before the court from time to time.
A prayer by state counsel Kalyan Bandopadhyay for stay on the order to allow the WB government to move an appeal was rejected by the court.
Delivering his judgement in a plea for an impartial probe into the murder of an Independent panchayat member in Birbhum district in 2013, Justice Tandon observed that the entire investigation was tainted with extraneous interference.
The court also observed that the SIT had not investigated the matter in the way it should have and said its role had not been satisfactory.
The court was critical of the role of the DGP for having given a clean chit to political leaders who were accused of making inflammatory speeches a few days before the murder of Sagar Ghosh, who fought and won as an Independent in the 2013 panchayat polls after being denied a ticket by the ruling TMC.
TMC Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal and another district level leader were among 41 persons named in the FIR lodged by Ghosh's wife.
Expressing its displeasure over the role of the state DGP, GMP Reddy, the high court noted that he had not looked at video footage containing the speeches made by Mondal.
It also observed that it was not expected that the DGP would share a report with any officer or the government pleader when the court was monitoring the progress of the case.
The DGP had earlier told the court that the charge sheet was filed in the case before the sessions court in Suri without taking the leave of the court on advice from a government advocate.
Mondal was not named in that charge sheet.
The court had asked the DGP, who was summoned before it on September 4, as to whether he did not feel that the inflammatory speeches and the subsequent murder were related.
The DGP had told the court that the two cases were unrelated and that a separate investigation was on in connection with the speeches.
Ghosh was shot at his home in Badnabagram village under Parui police station area in Birbhum's Kasba on the night of July 21, 2013, and succumbed to the injuries two days later.
The high court had ordered a CID probe into the murder after Ghosh's son Hridoy moved court seeking an independent probe into the matter upon claims that the district police was acting in a biased manner.
Later, displeased with the progress of the investigation by CID, the court had directed the formation of an SIT headed by the DGP to investigate the matter.