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West Bengal Post Poll Violence: Calcutta High Court Takes on Record NHRC Committee's Final Report; Adjourns Case to July 22 for Arguments [READ ORDER]

West Bengal Post Poll Violence: Calcutta High Court Takes on Record NHRC Committee's Final Report; Adjourns Case to July 22 for Arguments [READ ORDER]

The seven-member committee set up by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to probe alleged post-poll violence in West Bengal on Tuesday (July 13,2021) submitted its report to Calcutta High Court.

According to the committee's interim report, the High Court observed on July 2,2021 that the 2021 assembly elections were violent, leading to several deaths and rampant sexual exploitation of women and children.

Today, Advocate Subir Sanyal asked the court for permission to present the committee's final report. The committee has submitted five sets of reports with separate sealed covers with annexures.

The court read it briefly but did not express any opinions on the findings and directed that a copy of the same be supplied to counsels appearing for all the parties. One week has been given to file objection/response to report.

In an earlier order, a 5-Judge Bench hearing the matter ordered a second autopsy on the late BJP member Abhijit Sarkar, who was allegedly killed by TMC members in the post-voting violence.

Today, the Court was informed that the autopsy has been conducted and a report in that regard will be submitted to Court in a sealed cover. However, Sakar's brother Biswajit stated that the body could not be identified due to its poor condition. Biswajit agreed to provide his samples for DNA matching to determine the identity of the body.

Therefore, the court ordered the collection of blood samples from Biswajit at the command hospital in Kolkata and sent them to the CFSL in Kolkata in a sealed cover for DNA analysis and matching with the dead body, on a priority basis.

The court ordered that,

"Let samples for DNA analysis of Biswajit Sarkar be taken at the Command Hospital on July 15, 2021, at 11 A.M. Biswajit Sarkar shall carry his Aadhar Card at the time of giving his sample...Director, CFSL, Kolkata is directed to conduct DNA analysis of both the samples at the earliest on priority basis and submit a report to this Court in a sealed cover within one week,"

During the hearing, AG Datta requested that the investigating officer be allowed to appear in court when taking samples from Mr. Biswajit Sarkar. The proposal was strongly opposed by Sarkar's lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, who stated that they had previously filed a petition before the Supreme Court requested that the investigation be transferred to an independent agency.

The court subsequently observed that,

"We don't consider that presence of investigating officer is required as a sample of Biswajit Sarkar has to be taken in the Command Hospital. They shall ensure his identity before taking the sample and that both the samples are sent to the Director, CFSL, Kolkata for analysis."

It also ordered the alleged body to be retained in safe conditions until the court issued a new order and also recorded the affidavit of Rashid Munir Khan of the DCP of South Kolkata.

The court issued a notice to him the day before, asking him to prove why no contempt suit was filed against him because he failed to prevent obstructing the National Human Rights Commission’s team from visiting and investigating the subsequent allegations of post-poll violence.

Now, the court will hear the matter on July 22, 2021.

Case Title: Susmita Saha Dutta v. Union of India & Ors. (And other connected matters)

 

 [READ ORDER]

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