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Court’s triple blow to sleuths

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) were reprimanded by Calcutta High Court on Tuesday over their failure to achieve a breakthrough in three separate cases.

While the CBI was pulled up for its delay in solving the baby-swap case, as well as the disappearance of a Geological Survey of India (GSI) director, deputy inspector-general of CID, V.V. Thambi, was criticised for his agency’s failure to locate two children of south Calcutta.

In June, the CBI had prayed for an additional three months for submitting its final report in the baby-swap case. On Tuesday, when the case came up for hearing in the court of Justice S.B. Roy and Justice N.C. Seal, CBI counsel R. Roy said that though the report was complete, it could not be filed as it was lying with the agency headquarters in Delhi for scrutiny.

The CBI counsel prayed for further time. Counsel for the petitioner, Supradip Roy, and the advocate representing state government, Bikash Bhattacharya, opposed the prayer. Bhattacharya pointed out the court had directed the CBI to investigate the matter even though the CID had prayed for three months’ time to submit its report.

Supradip Roy said his client, Anup Bhattacharya, has waited for four years for the male child that disappeared from Medical College and Hospital on July 4, 1998. “The CBI had spent crores and conducted several DNA tests but, strangely, it has not yet been able to produce the child in the court,” he alleged.

The division bench granted the CBI till November 12, 2002, to file the report and said “the court is reluctant in granting time for the last time.”

In another case, Justice Ashok Ganguly called deputy inspector-general Thambi to ask him why his department had failed to trace two La Martiniere students, missing since February this year.

Earlier, the trial court had given custody of the two children to their mother, Sukanya Das, following her separation from husband Indranil. On Tuesday, the court directed the CID to locate the children by September 8, 2002.

In the third hearing, the division bench of Justice N.A. Chowdhury and Justice S.K. Gupta directed the CID to produce all documents relating to the investigation into the disappearance of GSI director Samir Pal.

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