The hearing in the Sagar Ghosh murder case, in which the Birbhum district president of ruling Trinamool Congress leader is an accused, could not be held on the first day today due to the absence of two key eye-witnesses - the victim's son and daughter-in-law.
District and sessions judge Goutam Sengupta issued bailable warrants against Hriday Ghosh and his wife Shibani, the two eye witnesses.
The couple and Hriday's mother Saraswati were scheduled to be present as eye-witnesses. But when the court started hearing the case, none of the three eye-witnesses was found in the court room.
The judge asked public prosecutor Ranjit Ganguly about their absence. Ganguly informed the court that he had seen Hriday Ghosh in the court compound earlier but he had left without informing.
A medical certificate seeking exemption from presence in the court was submitted by the lawyer of Saraswati Ghosh and the court ordered her to appear on February 23.
Sagar Ghosh was shot at his home in Badnabagram village under Parui police station in Birbhum district on the night of July 21, 2013, and he succumbed two days later. The victim had fought and won as an Independent in the 2013 panchayat polls after being denied a ticket by the TMC.
TMC Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal was among 41 persons named in the FIR. He was accused of making inflammatory speeches a few days before the murder.
The Calcutta High Court had ordered a CID probe in December 2013 after Hriday sought an independent probe claiming that the district police were acting in a biased manner.
Later, displeased with the progress of the CID probe, the court directed the formation of an SIT headed by the DGP to investigate the matter.
Justice Harish Tandon of the High Court had on September 24 last year ordered a CBI investigation into the murder holding that the entire probe by state agencies was tainted with extraneous interference. A division bench had on December 3 set aside the order for CBI probe.