SC rejects Bengal's plea against probe into custodial death

Published: 25th June 2013 09:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2013 09:11 AM   |  A+A-

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by the West Bengal Government challenging the Calcutta High Court order for a CBI  probe into the alleged custodial death of a Trinamool Congress worker in Dhaniakhali police station area of Hooghly district.

“We are not inclined to entertain it,” said a Bench comprising Justice A K Patnaik and Justice Ranjan Gogoi regarding the West Bengal Government’s plea.

The High Court had on May 13 directed a CBI probe into the death of TMC worker Nasiruddin and had asked the CID to hand over all documents connected with the case to the agency. This came after an advocate filed a PIL in the High Court praying for a CBI probe claiming that fair and impartial investigation was not possible by any state agency as the allegation was against the state police. 

Appearing for West Bengal, advocate Ritesh Agrawal told the Bench that the High Court had directed a CBI probe merely on the assumption that there was a possibility of influence being exerted by politicians and top police officials on the probe.

In its petition, West Bengal had averred that the High Court passed the order, though the CID was performing its duty in a fair and impartial manner. The CID had arrested three police personnel, allegedly involved in the incident, it added.

The petition further stated that the name of local MLA Asima Patra was not mentioned in the FIR registered by the wife of the deceased and there was no allegation of any kind against her in the FIR. But the High Court proceeded as if she was the main culprit.

The High Court had completely failed to consider that in the two-hour-long video footage from the CCTV installed in the police station, only some minor scuffles were recorded between the deceased and police personnel, the West Bengal Government contended.

It stated that around 9 pm on January 18, the police found a vehicle parked near Madanmohantala obstructing regular flow of traffic. When the policemen asked the driver to remove the vehicle they found him to be drunk.

Nasiruddin refused to give any explanation and began abusing the policemen. He was taken to the Dhaniakhali Police Station between 9 pm and 10 pm. He was later taken to the toilet and when Nasiruddin did not come out, the toilet was forced open. The policemen then found Nasiruddin unconscious and took him to the Dhaniakhali Hospital where he was declared dead by a doctor, the state averred.

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