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Madhyamgram report in court

The primary report of the investigation conducted by Damayanti Sen of the CID into the Madhyamgram gang-rape and murder case was submitted to the high court on Monday.

After going through the report, Justice Dipankar Dutta asked whether the court could hand over a copy of the report to the lawyer appearing for the petitioner, the father of the 16-year-old who had allegedly been gang-raped and murdered.

Advocate-general Bimal Chatterjee and lawyer Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya, who is appearing for the girl’s father, will have to submit before the judge on February 26 whether there is any bar on him to hand over a copy of the report to the petitioner’s lawyer.

“Unless I hand over a copy to the petitioner’s lawyer, how can I understand whether the petitioner is satisfied with the investigation?” the judge asked.

Advocate-general Chatterjee — who tabled the probe report on behalf of Sen, the deputy inspector-general (operations) of the CID — opposed the suggestion that the petitioner be given a copy of the findings. Public prosecutor Manjit Singh echoed Chatterjee’s views.

“Since the investigation is on, the court should not give a copy of the probe report to the petitioner’s lawyer,” Chatterjee submitted.

Rabishankar Chatterjee, a lawyer assisting Bhattacharyya, submitted that his senior had gone to Delhi to appear in a case related to the Saradha default crisis in the Supreme Court and would be “available here” only on Wednesday.

The judge then said facing the advocate-general: “The petitioner was not satisfied with the probe by the police and sought an order for a CBI inquiry. Unless he has a copy of the progress report on the investigation, how will his lawyer react?

“Moreover, I have gone through the report. To find out any flaw in the investigation, the petitioner’s lawyer should get a copy.”

Public prosecutor Manjit Singh said: “Once the investigation is over, the report will be handed over to the magistrate who will conduct the trial. The magistrate will hand over a copy of the report to the petitioner. If they (the petitioner) find any gap in the report, they can come to your court.”

The judge then decided to hear both Bhattacharyya and the advocate-general before issuing an order.

The girl had allegedly been gang-raped on October 26 and again the next day while she and her father were returning from Madhyamgram police station after lodging a complaint.

The family was allegedly hounded out of Madhyamgram and took shelter in a rented room near the airport, where the girl was allegedly set on fire by persons known to the rape accused. She died at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital on December 31.

The girl’s father moved the high court in January, expressing lack of faith in the police inquiry and seeking an order for a CBI probe.

The state lawyer suggested that the case be handed over to Damayanti Sen. Following a submission by the petitioner’s lawyer that they had no objection to a probe by Sen, the court assigned the case to the CID officer.

Eight men are behind bars in connection with the alleged gang rape and murder.