ED approaches Calcutta HC fearing tampering of evidence with Shahjahan in state police custody

Kolkata, Feb 29 – A few hours after Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan was handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal Police in Kolkata on Thursday, the ED’s counsel approached the Calcutta High Court over fears of tampering of evidence.

The ED’s counsel Dhiraj Trivedi said that he feared that there would be tampering of evidence while Sheikh Shahjahan was in state police custody.

The ruling party leader and accused in the attack on the ED and CPAF officials on January 5 was arrested late on Wednesday.

Dhiraj Trivedi drew the attention of the Division Bench of Chief Justice, TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya to the central agency’s prior appeal for an independent CBI probe instead of a probe by a joint team of the CBI and state police.

Trivedi pleaded for a fast-track hearing in the matter considering that the Division Bench has already stayed the probe by the joint SIT till March 6, when the matter will come up for hearing again.

“The state police have arrested Sheikh Shahjahan and he is in their custody now. We fear that because of this, many important documents in the case against him, where the ED is carrying out investigation, might be tampered with. So we are pleading for a fast track hearing in the matter and if possible, on Friday only,” the ED counsel argued.

After hearing his argument, the Division Bench told the ED counsel that the matter might be considered, though any concrete assurance was not given till the time the report was filed.

A cold war between ED and the state police started brewing from Thursday morning soon after the arrest of Shahjahan.

The Additional Director General of police (South Bengal) Supratim Sarkar, while speaking to media persons, blamed the ED for not taking any initiative to arrest Sheikh Shahjahan.

“The state police might have some legal hurdles. But the same was not the case with the ED. So there is the question of why did the ED not arrest him,” said Sarkar.

src/rad

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