Calcutta HC reserves its judgement in appeal seeking transfer of probe against Sheikh Shahjahan to CBI

Kolkata, March 4 – The Calcutta High Court on Monday reserved its judgement on an appeal seeking transfer of the probe against the now-suspended Trinamool Congress leader from Sandeshkhali, Sheikh Shahjahan, independently to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

After a thorough hearing of the matter, the division bench of Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya reserved the judgement and also did not specify when the same will be delivered.

To recall, initially the Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice Jay Sengupta had ordered a probe into the attack on ED and CAPF teams in Sandeshkhali on January 5, which was allegedly orchestrated by Shahjahan, by a joint SIT of the West Bengal Police and CBI.

However, the ED had challenged the order and demanded that the probe be independently handled by the CBI.

At that point of time, the division bench had put an interim stay on the formation and probe by a joint SIT.

The matter came up for hearing again on Monday and after prolonged arguments and counter-arguments by all the parties concerned, the bench reserved its judgement.

During the hearing, the ED counsel demanded that Shahjahan, who is currently in the custody of the CID of the state police, be remanded to judicial custody so that he can be handed over to the CBI eventually.

A similar appeal was moved by the CBI counsel, who said that their officers want to independently probe the matter by taking Shahjahan into custody.

“Those who have been arrested, including Shahjahan, are currently in state police’s custody. There is a time limit up to which the accused persons can be kept in police custody. Unless the CBI gets the accused persons in its custody, how could its officers investigate the matter?

“An independent CBI probe into the matter is necessary since Sheikh Shahjahan, who himself is an influential person, is linked to an erstwhile member of the West Bengal government, who is currently in judicial custody in connection with the ration distribution case,” the CBI counsel said.

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