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‘You Don’t Do Anything For Months’: Supreme Court rejects West Bengal government’s plea challenging Calcutta HC order directing CBI probe in Sandeshkhali cases

Justice Viswanathan also questioned the ineffectiveness of the Bengal Police. He added, “FIRs registered 4 years ago, when were the arrests made? Who were the accused?” 

On Monday (8th July), the Supreme Court dismissed the West Bengal government’s plea challenging the Calcutta High Court’s order that directed a CBI probe into allegations of land-grabbing and sexual assault in Sandeshkhali. During the brief hearing on Monday, Justice Gavai asked, “Why should the state be interested?” 

The bench of Justices BR Gavai and KV Viswanathan dismissed the arguments of Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Bengal government, who submitted that at the most only two FIRs, relating to ED officials, could be given to the CBI.  

Singhvi argued, “Far reaching directions to CBI at the most could be restricted to two FIRs, which related to ED officials. Now the impugned directions cover everything, like ration scam. See how much work has been done by us…it can’t be a blanket direction.” He added, “43 FIRs are about so-called ration scam…” 

Dismissing Singhvi’s submission, the bench directed that “all” cases related to Sandeshkhali will be probed by the CBI. Justice Gavai pulled up the West Bengal government and observed, “You don’t do anything for months…” 

Justice Viswanathan also questioned the ineffectiveness of the Bengal Police. He added, “FIRs registered 4 years ago, when were the arrests made? Who were the accused?” 

Justice Gavai asserted, “The order is pertaining to all related incidents…it’s not omnibus.” 

However, while dismissing the plea, the court noted that the observations made during today’s hearing must not influence CBI in its investigating. 

The bench was hearing the West Bengal government’s plea against the CBI probe into the allegations of land-grabbing and sexual assault in Sandeshkhali by suspended TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his accomplices. 

During an earlier hearing held in April 2024, the Supreme Court pulled up the West Bengal government for opposing the CBI investigation into the Sandeshkhali cases. Criticising the government’s stance, the bench asked how can a state government approach the top court to protect the interests of an individual.

The bench had adjourned the matter at the request of the Bengal government’s counsel Singhvi. While the bench expressed reservations about adjourning the matter, it accepted his request only after taking his statement on record that “the pendency of this petition will not be used as a ground for any purposes.” 

Following the pronouncement of the order, Justice Gavai was heard saying, “Why should the State come as a petitioner for protecting the interest of some private (individual)?”

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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