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Supreme Court Rejects West Bengal Government’s Appeal Against High Court’s Order for CBI Investigation into Sandeshkhali Violence, Removes High Court’s Criticism of Police

Supreme Court Dismisses West Bengal’s Appeal, Orders CBI Probe in Sandeshkhali Violence Case

The Supreme Court declined West Bengal government’s plea against the Calcutta High Court’s decision to transfer the investigation into the attack on ED officials in Sandeshkhali to the CBI. However, it agreed to expunge critical remarks made by the high court regarding the state government and police.

The bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta heard the urgent special leave petition by West Bengal, which contested the high court’s ruling. The plea was lodged after the high court instructed transferring the case and the custody of prime accused Shahjahan Sheikh to the central agency.

The high court’s decision was motivated by concerns over the state police’s handling of the matter and alleged political interference by Shahjahan Sheikh. It criticized the state police for bias and delay tactics in the investigation.

During the hearing, Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Jaideep Gupta represented West Bengal, questioning the decision to transfer the case to the CBI instead of forming a Special Investigation Team (SIT) with state police members.

In response, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, representing the CBI, highlighted deficiencies in the state police’s handling of the case, accusing them of aiding the accused and delaying crucial legal steps.

As discussions ensued, Singhvi expressed concern over the high court’s remarks, prompting the bench to consider expunging them. The additional solicitor general agreed to this proposal.

The bench then announced its decision, refusing to interfere with the high court’s order but agreeing to expunge the critical observations regarding the conduct of the police and state government.

The high court’s decision to transfer the case to the CBI came amidst concerns over Shahjahan Sheikh’s alleged political influence and connections. The court emphasized the need for an impartial investigation into the matter.

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