Justice Served: Calcutta HC Forms SIT to Investigate Attack on ED Officer

Mainstream
18-Jan-2024
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The Calcutta High Court, in response to a plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), has established a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the attack on ED officers during raids related to an alleged multi-crore ration distribution scam in West Bengal. Single-judge Justice Jay Sengupta directed the SIT to consist of officers from both the State Police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), emphasizing an impartial investigation.

"The Superintendent of Police, Islampur will be the State's nominee. Both the CBI and State will have an equal number of personnel in the SIT, which shall be at liberty to requisition Central Forces. The SIT is to submit its report before this court by February 12," Justice Sengupta stated.

The ED officers were assaulted on January 5 near the residence of Trinamool Congress (TMC) Party leader Sheikh Shahjahan, a key figure linked to Jyotipriyo Mallick, a State Minister for Forests arrested in connection with the ration distribution scam. The attackers, approximately 200 locals, surrounded the officers during a raid at Shahjahan's residence, leading to injuries to three ED officers.

Earlier, the court had instructed the local police to install CCTV cameras around Shahjahan's house during a hearing on January 16. The ED alleged that the local police were not investigating the incident fairly.

The attack prompted Governor CV Ananda Bose to call for Shahjahan's arrest. A subsequent attempt to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the matter was declined by a division bench, asserting that the ED, as a central agency, did not require third-party intervention. The formation of the SIT by the Calcutta High Court signifies a commitment to a thorough and unbiased inquiry into the attack on ED officers.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News Writer, MIT ADT University