Today, the state claimed in the Supreme Court that members of the panel investigating allegations of post-poll violence in Bengal are affiliated with the BJP. The state is challenging a Calcutta High Court decision for an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation and a Special Investigation Team.
Kapil Sibal, a prominent lawyer and former Union Minister testified in court on behalf of the state. Mr. Sibal dismissed the necessity for a separate panel, stating a CBI for rape and murder cases and a Special Investigative Team for other incidents.
The two-judge bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose was questioned. Mr. Sibal claimed that members are still publishing information on social media related to the BJP and queried how the head of the Human Rights Committee can choose such members.
The court demanded a comprehensive list of panel members and the specifics of the state’s concerns about the members. The justices denied Mr. Sibal’s request for an interim order, saying the case would be heard the following Monday. The administration of Mamata Banerjee, which has been at odds with the CBI for years, has stated in its plea that the CBI is acting at the behest of the Centre and that a fair inquiry cannot be expected. Bengal noted that the agency is now registering cases against Trinamool Congress office-bearers.
The judges decided that a Special Investigation Team should investigate the other claims of violence. The state police had been accused of prejudice in favor of the governing party. The court claimed that they either neglected to submit First Information Reports in situations of significant crimes or only recorded FIRs for minor changes in circumstances of serious crimes.