The Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed a court-monitored CBI probe into the incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal. The high court has also directed the state government to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the cases related to violence following the Assembly elections results declared on May 2.The high court observed that the West Bengal Government's argument that the Election Commission was responsible for the violence as police were under it due to enforcement of election code till May 3, 2021 "deserves to be rejected outrightly"
"Civil or police administration is under the control of the Election Commission during election process only to ensure free & fair elections. That does not mean that the police stop discharging its normal duties to control law and order," the high court said in its verdict.
The five-judge bench presided over by Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal had earlier ordered the NHRC chairman to constitute an inquiry committee to probe accusations of human rights violations during the "post-poll violence".
The panel, in its report, indicted the Mamata Banerjee government, as it recommended handing over the investigation in grievous crimes like rape and murder to the CBI and said that the cases should be tried outside the state.
The NHRC committee report said that other cases should be investigated by a court-monitored special investigation team (SIT) and for adjudication, there should be fast track courts, special public prosecutors and a witness protection scheme.
Hearing in the matter was concluded on August 3 and the order was reserved by the bench, also comprising justices I P Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Subrata Talukdar.
The PILs filed in the matter alleged that people were subjected to assault, made to flee homes and their properties were destroyed as a result of post-poll violence in West Bengal and sought an impartial probe into these and protection of life and liberty.
Opposing the findings and recommendations of the NHRC committee report, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the state DGP, had claimed during submissions that it was erroneous and biased.
Claiming that a few members of the NHRC panel had links with the opposition BJP, he prayed that it should be rejected by the court.
(With inputs from PTI)