CBI submits status report to Calcutta HC on alleged post-Assembly poll violence in West Bengal

The CBI, which submitted the status report, said that out of 64 cases referred to it by the state police, 39 alleged offences were taken over by the central agency.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

KOLKATA: The CBI has submitted a status report to the Calcutta High Court on alleged violence in West Bengal following the assembly elections in April last year.

The CBI said the state police had referred 64 incidents to it in accordance with an order of a five-judge bench of the high court, which directed the agency to investigate heinous crimes of murder, rape and attempt to rape, while other cases related to post-poll violence were to be probed by a special investigation team of three senior IPS officers of West Bengal cadre.

The CBI, which submitted the status report before a division bench presided over by Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava on Monday, said that out of 64 cases referred to it by the state police, 39 alleged offences were taken over by CBI, which registered regular cases, while 4 references are under process.

It said 21 cases referred to it were returned to the state police/SIT "on the ground of nature of offence", as CBI has been mandated by the order of the five-judge bench on August 19, 2021 to investigate post-poll violence cases of murder, rape and attempt to rape alone.

The CBI said it had also received 29 complaints of sexual assault from NHRC related to sexual offences till December 22, out of which it has decided to hand over two cases to the state SIT on the grounds of nature of offences.

It said two complaints relating to same incident of sexual assault were received by CBI which were amalgamated, resulting in registration of only one regular case for investigation.

"Remaining cases are under progress," it said, The agency said that at the time of submission of the status report, CBI had registered 50 regular cases and one preliminary enquiry into the alleged incidents of post-poll violence.

The CBI said it had submitted charge sheet in 10 cases while remaining cases are under progress. The division bench directed the state government to file a report in the form of an affidavit on return of people who had allegedly been left homeless out of political vendetta by the next date of hearing on January 24.

The five-judge bench presided over by the then Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal had on August 19, 2021 ordered a CBI investigation into all cases of alleged murder and crime against women regarding rape or attempt to rape in post-poll violence in West Bengal.

`Passing the judgement on PILs seeking independent probe in alleged violence in the state following the assembly elections, the bench had ordered constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising three IPS officers of the West Bengal cadre to probe all other cases.

The bench had directed that both the investigations will be monitored by the high court. It had also ordered the West Bengal government to pay compensation to the victims of crime in accordance with the policy of the state, after due verification, and said the amount will be directly transferred to their bank accounts.

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