The West Bengal government has moved the Supreme Court challenging an order of the Calcutta High Court which directed inquiries by the Central Bureau of Investigation into some of the cases related to violence after Assembly elections in West Bengal earlier this year, Live Law reported.
On August 19, the Calcutta High Court had ordered CBI inquiry into cases involving allegations of murder, rape and crimes against women.
In its plea, the West Bengal government has submitted that it did not expect the CBI to conduct a fair investigation. The Mamata Banerjee-led government has accused the agency of working at the Centre’s behest to file cases against members of the ruling Trinamool Congress.
The CBI has already begun its investigation into the post-poll violence. Last week, the agency made its first arrest in the case. It has filed at least 21 first information reports and conducted 15 raids in various parts of the state in relation to the case.
West Bengal had witnessed several incidents of violence following the Assembly election results on May 2. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Trinamool Congress blamed each other for the deaths of multiple party workers. Various news reports put the toll between 11 and 14, but the police did not confirm the numbers.
On June 18, the Calcutta High Court had directed the National Human Rights Commission of India to set up a seven-member committee to investigate the matter. The rights panel submitted its report on July 13, recommending that cases of “heinous crimes” should be transferred to the CBI.
The committee had alleged that the state police were “grossly derelict, if not complicit” in the violence. However, the state government claimed that the committee was formed to “spearhead a witch hunt” against it.
In its August 19 judgement, the High Court said that cases other than the ones being investigated by the CBI, will be probed by a special investigation team. The court said that it will monitor investigations of both the CBI and the SIT.