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Court renews DGP summons query

Anubrata Mondal

Calcutta, July 8: Calcutta High Court has raised afresh the issue of summoning the state director-general of police to explain why no action was taken against Birbhum Trinamul Congress president Anubrata Mondal, one of the accused in the Sagar Ghosh murder case.

Justice Harish Tandon, who has been assigned the case after Justice Dipankar Datta recused himself, asked today: “What law is preventing the police from taking action against the main accused of the case? Why are the police inactive in dealing with a particular case while it shows alacrity in some other? Why cannot the DGP be asked to appear in court after his failure in taking legal steps against a murder case accused?”

The judge eventually said that if the government pleader did not come up with a credible explanation on Thursday, the DGP might have to be summoned.

In an order on April 10, Justice Datta had summoned the DGP, G.M.P. Reddy, to explain why no action had been taken against Anubrata. Sagar, the father of Trinamul rebel rural poll candidate Hriday, was shot dead a few days after Anubrata exhorted party supporters to burn down houses of dissidents contesting the panchayat elections.

On April 11, a division bench headed by former Chief Justice A.K. Mishra had stayed the order and taken over the case from Justice Datta.

Sagar’s son Hriday moved the Supreme Court for the case to be heard by the single bench of Calcutta High Court but the apex court sent it back to the high court.

Justice Mishra returned the case to Justice Datta but he refused to hear the case after an exchange of words with government pleader Ashok Banerjee. The case was subsequently assigned to Justice Tandon.

Justice Mishra is no longer with Calcutta High Court as he took over as a Supreme Court judge yesterday.

Replying to Justice Tandon’s question today, government pleader Banerjee sought time to explain why action against Anubrata was not needed.

“The investigation is going on on the basis of an FIR in which the name of the accused in question did not figure,” Banerjee said.

After Sagar was shot in his house on July 21 last year, the police had allegedly forced his widow to sign a blank paper. The next day, the family sent a complaint by post to Parui police station as well as the SP, DM and the DGP. In this complaint, Anubrata’s name was mentioned.

Phiroz Edulji, the counsel appearing for Hriday, told the court: “According to a judgment delivered by the Supreme Court, the police are bound to investigate into any case where FIR has been lodged by the family members of the deceased within seven days of the incident.”

Justice Tandon then raised his finger and said: “Yes, yes.”

Justice Tandon asked the government pleader: “Can you satisfy me that action against the person concerned is not needed if I give you time?”

Banerjee said: “Sure. Actually the report of the DGP, which was placed before the court earlier, was in a sealed cover and I have not seen it. Please give me time to gather information about the progress of investigation.”

The judge added: “OK. The case will be heard again on July 10. On that day, you will have to satisfy me. Otherwise, the court may not have any alternative other than to ask the DGP to attend and clarify.”