KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Monday pulled up the West Bengal Government for inaction against a ruling Trinamool Congress legislator who is an accused in a murder case.
While hearing a petition filed by Zarina Bibi and her son Sanwar Sheikh demanding a CBI inquiry into the murder, Justice Dipankar Datta asked government lawyer Samrat Sen why the state police had not apprehended the main culprit when it was their responsibility to do so.
TMC MLA Monirul Sheikh was arrested in 2010 as he was the main accused in the murder of Zarina’s three sons who were CPM members at Labhpur in Birbhum district.
Monirul was then in Forward Bloc, which was a constituent of the CPM-led Left Front government. Monirul, however, got bail as the state police failed to file the chargesheet within the mandatory period of 90 days. Monirul joined the TMC and successfully contested the 2011 state Assembly polls. On July 23 last year, he delivered a speech at Saithia during a TMC public meeting where he proudly claimed to have ‘smashed the three men’ and even said he needed the head of a local Congress leader Bapi Datta.
The Judge wanted to know whether the police had watched the video footage of Monirul’s speech and asked the government lawyer to arrange for its screening at his chamber. Since the police did not include Monirul’s name in the chargesheet filed last week though he was the prime accused in the FIR, the judge observed that there were many precedents in rulings of the Supreme Court that if not satisfied by the police investigation, the high court could order an additional chargesheet.
The lawyer for the petitioners Subrata Mukherjee said,
“Since a noted politician of the ruling TMC is involved, we want a free and fair trial and a re-investigation. The state machinery is not acting independently and as such my clients want a CBI inquiry.”
Reacting to the case, former BJP state president Tathagata Roy said, “There is an original flaw in the police system in this state. The police has become slaves of the ruling TMC and is serving its interests.”
Judge Sen and lawyer for the petitioner Subrata Mukherjee watched the video footage of Monirul’s speech and Justice Datta is expected to give his ruling in the case on Tuesday.