Calcutta HC bars CID action on CBI officials
Calcutta High Court on Wednesday said the CID would continue its probe into the death of Bara Lalon Sheikh in the CBI custody as desired by his wife, but held that the state agency would not be allowed to take any coercive measures against the seven CBI officials named in her FIR.
Fixing the hearing of the case on December 21, Justice Jay Sengupta said his current order would prevail till then.
The order followed a petition by the CBI that sought the quashing of the FIR lodged by Lalon’s wife Reshma Biwi at Rampurhat police station on Tuesday. She accused seven CBI officials of murdering Sheikh while he was in their custody.
In the interim order, the judge gave protection to the accused CBI officers for the time being but made it clear that as the FIR was lodged by the wife of the deceased, the court would take its future course of action only after hearing her.
Biwi alleged that her husband had been murdered by the central agency’s officials, whom she accused of having demanded Rs 50 lakh earlier to have his name cleared in the Bogtui carnage.
Sheikh, one of the prime accused in the Bogtui carnage that has been blamed on factionalism in the Trinamul Congress, died in CBI custody on Monday evening, eight days after his arrest.
Police sources said a CBI official investigating the case had informed Birbhum district police that Sheikh, a man in his mid-40s, had hanged himself with a towel inside a bathroom.
Biwi filed a complaint at the Rampurhat police station, alleging that the CBI officials had threatened to murder Sheikh during a visit by the sleuths with him to Bogtui.
Moving the petition in the high court, the CBI’s counsel claimed that Sheikh had committed suicide. “It is a matter of surprise that when everyone is in favour of a probe by the CBI into any case, the complainant (Biwi) is asking for a CID probe,” said the CBI counsel.
The counsel claimed there was videography of every incident, and a magistrate and the police were present when the body was being brought down from the ceiling of the toilet where it was purportedly found hanging. The counsel urged the judge to quash the FIR and pass an order restraining the CID from continuing its probe.
A government lawyer opposed the prayer and said the CBI had no authority to malign the CID.