The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Justice cry in case of Bhikari Paswan

Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha, an organisation fighting for human rights, held a demonstration at Calcutta High Court on Thursday, demanding immediate disposal of the Bhikari Paswan disappearance case. A three-member delegation, headed by Mancha president Sadhan Roy Chowdhury, met registrar-general Tapan Mukherjee and handed over a memorandum to him.

The organisation alleged that the judiciary was not cooperating with the family of Paswan and a section of judicial officers, in connivance with the police, were delaying the process of law.

Mancha secretary Kiriti Roy said: “Ten years ago, on the night of October 30, 1993, Paswan, a casual labour of Victoria Jute Mill, at Telinipara, in Hooghly, was allegedly abducted by police from his residence. Since then, he has disappeared. On a high court order, the Criminal Bureau of Investigation (CBI ) had conducted an inquiry, and filed a report on June 12, 1995, stating that Paswan had been lifted by police from his home.”

After receiving the CBI report, a division bench, presided over by the chief justice, had sent the matter to Alipore sessions court for the trial of the accused policemen, including Hooghly’s then additional superintendent of police Harmanpreet Singh. The sessions trial also took cognisance against four officials, including Singh.

The sessions judge had sent the matter for disposal to the additional district judge of Alipore who, instead of hearing the case, sent it to the sixth additional sessions judge. “The sixth judge wrote to Calcutta High Court, asking whether he had the jurisdiction to hear the case, since it had occurred in Hooghly. He also wanted to know whether he had the authority to deliver a judgment in a case involving senior police officers who were government servants,” Roy said.

Since then, the matter has been pending. “Today, when we asked the registrar, he said he had no idea about the letter of the sixth additional sessions judge,” complained Roy.

The Mancha president alleged Harmanpreet Singh had filed a case in the high court, seeking quashing of the proceedings against him and Justice S.B. Roy, who heard the matter, was transferred before he could deliver judgment in the case.

“We tried to trace the documents of the case, but found none.” He alleged that the papers were deliberately removed to further delay the case.

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