HC restricts new probe panel
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Sainbari killings Panel can't probe what Justice Tarapada had inquired
In a setback for the Trinamool Congress government, the Calcutta High Court on Friday said the Justice Arunav Basu Commission could inquire into the 1970 Sain Bari killings but only those aspects which have not been probed by the Justice Tarapada Mukherjee Commission which was insituted in May 1971 by the then Congress Chief Minister Siddharth Shankar Roy.
After Friday's order, the state government said it would file a review petition. "We will appeal before the Division Bench against the order,'' Minister of State for Law Chandrima Bhattacharya said.
A mob of alleged CPM workers had attacked the Sain household in Burdwan town in March 1970 killing three members of the family. The family were supporters of Congress party. Though Justice Tarapada Mukherjee, which inquired into the incident and the role of the police, submitted its report, it was never tabled in the Assembly. After the CPM came to power in the state, it dropped the cases against the party members accused for the killings.
Last year, when Mamata Banerjee came to power after ending Left Front's three-decade rule, she formed Justice Arunav Basu commission to inquire into the killings.
Rajat Banerjee and Durga Siba Prasad Roy, the two who were earlier named in the chargesheet but were acquitted by Alipore Sessions court, challenged the constitutional validity of the new probe commission, saying there was not enough reason to set up a probe panel, 41 years after the incident. They claimed that the state government could not order another judicial commission to probe the same incident.
Delivering an interim order, Justice Dipankar Dutta directed that Justice Arunav Bose commission will not be allowed to inquire on those aspects that have already probed by the Justice Tarapada Mukherjee commission. So the present commission could not inquire into killings and the role of the police. The commission will, however, be allowed to inquire the present condition of the victim's families and compensation be given to them, said the High Court. The High Court also directed the state government to file an affidavit within two weeks. The case will come up for hearing in January.
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