WB govt questions NHRC panel’s credibility, SC to hear plea on 20 Sep

WB govt questions NHRC panel’s credibility, SC to hear plea on 20 Sep

Hummingbird News Desk

NEW DELHI, 12 SEP: The West Bengal government today appealed before the Supreme Court questioning the credibility of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) panel, which examined alleged human rights violation in post poll violence in West Bengal.

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The state government submitted that the panel has been consisted of members who are either members of the BJP or known to be closely associated with BJP.

Listing the members of the committee, which was formed to investigate the incidents of post-poll violence, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the state government, noted that a few members were close to the BJP, having ties with the party.

“Can you imagine these people have been appointed to collect the data? Is this a BJP investigating committee, my Lords?” he submitted.

As a bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose observed that if somebody had a political past and if he lands up in an official position, should the court treat him to be biased, Sibal said that the members are still uploading posts related to the BJP.

“How can the Chairman of the human rights committee appoint such members?” he asked, seeking some interim order in the meantime. However, the bench said: “Nothing will happen. We’ll have it on Monday.”

The West Bengal government moved the top court against the Calcutta High Court order, which directed court-monitored CBI probe into the heinous cases of rape and murder during the post-poll violence in the state, after accepting the NHRC panel’s recommendations.

The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing on September 20 and pointed out that it will go through the chart submitted by the state government.

Earlier in the first week of this month, the state government had moved the Supreme Court challenging the Calcutta High Court’s order for a CBI probe into serious crimes such as rape and murder during alleged post-poll violence in the state.

In its special leave petition in the Supreme Court, the Mamata Banerjee government accused the CBI of acting at the behest of the Centre and claimed that it did not expect a fair probe. The government alleged that the Central agency was focusing on registering cases against the office-bearers of the ruling Trinamul Congress (TMC).

Earlier, lawyer Anindya Sundar Das, one of the PIL petitioners on whose plea the High Court had issued its verdict, filed a caveat in the top court urging that no order be passed without hearing him if the state or other litigant filed appeals.

Acting on the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), on 19 August, the High Court had ordered the CBI to investigate cases of heinous crimes, and set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the state police to conduct inquiries into all other criminal cases reported during the alleged violence. Both the CBI and the SIT were given six weeks to submit their reports.

In its order, a five-judge Bench led by acting High Court Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, and comprising justices I P Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen, and Subrata Talukdar, observed that there were “definite and proved” allegations that complaints of the victims of violence in the aftermath of the West Bengal Assembly polls were not even registered. The court ordered the NHRC and the state government to hand over all their records of the cases to the CBI for “court-monitored investigation”.

Tags: #WBGovernment #SupremeCourt #NHRC #BJP

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