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WB BJP activist murder: Plea to transfer case to CBI open, says SC; to hear it later

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Supreme Court Friday said it was keeping open the plea for transferring to CBI the probe into the alleged murder of West Bengal BJP activist Dulal Kumar in 2018 but was of the view that all issues relating to the case be first argued before the Calcutta High Court.
The apex court however agreed to hear it at a later date.
The body of the 32-year-old was found hanging from an electric pole in Purulia district's Balarampur of West Bengal on June 2, 2018 after the Panchayat election in the state.
"We want to suggest if you have any grievance you can go to the high court. We are saying the prayers for transfer of the case to CBI is open," observed a bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant.
BJP spokesperson and senior lawyer Gaurav Bhatia, who has filed a PIL on the alleged murder, insisted that the apex court should hear the matter as family members of the deceased has reasonable apprehension that they would not get justice if the case would remain with the state police.
He submitted that the might of the state was the factor that has to be taken into account as the victim was killed allegedly by the Trinamool Congress workers.
After hearing the matter briefly, the bench adjourned it and said the case will again come up for hearing after the constitution bench concludes the hearing the Sabaramila reference.
Referring to the details of the case, Bhatia said the body of Dulal Kumar was found hanging from the electric pole and despite the family of the deceased naming six persons as accused for the killing, the state police took 20 days in lodging the FIR.
Police did not give the copy of post-mortem report of the deceased to his family member, the lawyer said, adding that the police recorded the statement of "entire 'mohalla'" but did not record versions of the family members of the victim.
The West Bengal government had earlier opposed the submission of Bhatia and said that the plea has been filed on basis of newspaper reports and the death was the result of an extra-marital affair of the deceased.
The top court on March 26, 2019 had asked the state government to furnish the report of medical board constituted by it to ascertain the cause of the death.
Bhatia had sought CBI probe into the death of three BJP workers -- Shaktipada Sarkar, Trilochan Mahato and Dulal Kumar -- in 2018.
The apex court was satisfied with the action taken by state police in the death cases of Sarkar and Mahto and had decided to close the proceedings in the PIL with regard to their death.
"In the case involving the death of Shaktipada Sardar, three of the accused named in the FIR have been charge-sheeted and they are presently in custody. In addition, other persons not named in the FIR have also been charge-sheeted...
"Having regard to the above facts and availability of alternative remedy to the family members of the deceased, we decline and would not like to continue to entertain this writ petition insofar as the death of Shaktipada Sardar and Trilochan Mahato is concerned," it had said.
It had however kept alive the plea with regard to the death Dulal Kumar.
Besides seeking CBI probe, the PIL has also sought compensation of Rs 50 lakh each to the family members of the deceased BJP workers.
The plea has also sought direction to the state to grant "adequate police protection to the family members of the victims as there is an imminent threat to their lives".

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First Published: Feb 28 2020 | 7:40 PM IST

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