New Delhi, Oct. 8: The Supreme Court today transferred the trial on the murder of hill leader Madan Tamang from Darjeeling to Calcutta after questioning the CBI’s manner of investigation.
The court, however, allowed the CBI to continue the probe.
The slain ABGL president’s wife Bharti Tamang, had pleaded that the investigation be entrusted to NIA or any other agency as the CBI was acting in a partisan manner.
Tamang was hacked to death by a group of about four hundred alleged Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters on the morning of May 21, 2010, when he was overseeing preparations for a public meeting.
The bench said the case in the court of the sessions judge, Darjeeling, shall be transferred to the principal district and sessions judge of the Calcutta civil and sessions court. But “the investigation shall continue to be carried out by the CBI but shall be monitored closely by Mr. Rajiv Singh, Joint Director, CBI”.
On July 15 this year, the apex court had stayed the trial on the application moved by Bharti alleging that the CBI and the Mamata Banerjee-led government were shielding the accused for political reasons.
The CBI in its submission said that the accused were active supporters of the Morcha and because of the prevailing law-and-order situation in Darjeeling, the CBI was facing difficulty since most of the chargesheeted people take shelter either in Nepal or Sikkim.
The bench said: “Having noted the various relevant features, we find force in the submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the proceeding of the case by the prosecution either by the state police or by the CID and after it was taken over by CBI was not carried out in a satisfactory manner,”
The court cited the “absconding of the prime accused Nicol Tamang and Dinesh Subba” as evidence that “there was total lack of seriousness by the prosecution agency in carrying out the investigation”.
The bench said the trial, which had commenced in the absence of the arrest of the remaining accused, shall not proceed till the CBI concludes its further investigation and submits a comprehensive report before the transferred court in Calcutta. It said the comprehensive report “shall be filed expeditiously preferably within three months from the date of pronouncement of this order”.