HC restricts new probe panel

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.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.