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Calcutta HC stays formation of joint SIT in Sandeshkhali attack case

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Calcutta HC stays formation of joint SIT in Sandeshkhali attack case

Kolkata, Feb 7 (IANS) A division bench of the Calcutta High Court, on Wednesday, put an interim stay on an earlier order by the single-judge bench of the same court for formation of a joint special investigation team (SIT) of CBI and West Bengal Police to probe the January 5 attack on ED and CAPF officials at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district.

On January 17, the single- judge bench of Justice Sengupta ordered the formation of the joint SIT. However, ED subsequently approached the division bench of Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya challenging the single- judge bench order as well as demanding an independent CBI probe.

On Wednesday, the same division bench ordered the probe by the joint SIT. The division bench observed that the final order on this count will be passed only after hearing the arguments of the counsels of both ED and state government.

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The next hearing in the matter is scheduled on March 6, the day till when the probe by the joint SIT has been stayed.

The ED had opposed the involvement of the state police in the probe on grounds that on previous occasions in other investigation matters, the central agency sleuths have been facing tremendous non-cooperation from the state police.

The ED counsel also argued in the court on Wednesday that an investigation in the matter by the state police cannot be unbiased, since the attack took place in relation to ED’s probe on the multi-crore ration distribution cases, in which a heavyweight member of the state cabinet is already behind the bars.

The state government, on its part, had also been insisting that the charge of the probe be entirely given to the state police.

–IANS

src/dpb

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