Calcutta, Oct. 19: Calcutta High Court today rejected the government’s contention that the court did not have the jurisdiction to hear a plea challenging a fresh probe into the Sain Bari killings of 1970 and said the inquiry committee would not be able to interrogate anybody till the case was disposed of.
CPM leaders Nirupam Sen, Benoy Konar and Anil Basu were among the accused in the case, which was disposed of by the Left government with the governor’s assent.
Today, the single-judge bench of Justice Dipankar Dutta said the inquiry committee set up by the Mamata Banerjee government could “only collect information till the case was pending in court”.
The government had contended that setting up the panel was an “administrative decision” and the court did not have the jurisdiction to hear a plea challenging its formation.
This is the third major blow to the Trinamul government in connection with high court cases. The high court had scrapped the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, in June and declared the amendment to the West Bengal Co-operative Act, 2010, unconstitutional on Wednesday.
Former Jadavpur University registrar Rajat Bandopadhyay had challenged in the high court the government’s decision to set up a fresh inquiry commission to probe the Sain Bari massacre, in which alleged CPM goons and activists had attacked the Sain family in Burdwan on March 17, 1970, and killed three persons.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya told the court today that the government could not set up an inquiry commission as the case had already been investigated by another probe panel (formed by the Left administration). “Two inquiry commissions cannot be formed to probe a single incident,” he said.
Government pleader Asok Banerjee objected to this contention and said the high court did not have the jurisdiction to hear the case.
Justice Dutta brushed aside the state’s argument and said the court had the authority to hear the case.
The Mamata government set up the one-member judicial inquiry commission in July 2011. The commission of retired judge Arunava Basu is probing the CPM’s alleged role in the Sain Bari killings.
The previous panel, headed by retired Calcutta High Court judge Tarapada Mukherji, was set up on April 28, 1970.
“The previous commission had looked into the role of the police and other authorities. It was set up to probe the status of the police cases. The new commission was also assigned the task of probing if the previous government had accepted the report of the earlier panel,” a state home department official said.
An official said the government would wait for the final order before deciding on the next course of action.
Molest cuffs on doc
A doctor was arrested for allegedly molesting a patient in his Beadon Street chamber on Thursday evening.
The patient, a 27-year-old housewife, is a resident of Bally in Howrah. She told police she had gone to the doctor with common cold.