West Bengal's plea in Supreme Court says, "Deaths from Covid-19 and accidents recorded as murder" [West Bengal Post-Poll Violence]

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The plea filed by the West Bengal government before the Supreme Court in the West Bengal post-poll violence matter has alleged that multiple cases such as deaths due to Covid-19, deaths in the month of March 2021, road traffic accidents and even cases of suicide have been outrightly treated as murder cases for the purpose of the post-poll violence Report.

The Mamata Banerjee-led government has approached the Apex Court challenging the order of the Calcutta High Court directing the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate the post-poll violence.

The state government has approached the Apex Court stating, "there is a strong likelihood that the CBI will take immediate steps to persecute public officials in the State for political gains under the guise of purported investigations and under the cover of the Impugned Order."

Challenging the order of the Calcutta High Court the plea submits that the order was passed mainly on the basis of the report submitted by a committee set up by the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which consisted of either members or close associates of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). 

Raising the question of law, "Whether the presence of members of the BJP / close associates of the BJP in the Committee appointed by the NHRC, Chairperson gave rise to a “reasonable likelihood of bias” and vitiated the independence of the entire Committee," the plea alleged that, "The discrepancy is such that the Committee finds a total of 52 murder cases whereas as per State’s records, the total murder cases are 29. Furthermore, with respect to the rape cases, the Committee finds a total of 11 rape cases whereas, the petitioner state on investigation found no such incidents happened in the state as claimed by the Committee.

Over the issue of investigation being transferred to CBI, the plea placing reliance on the judgment in the case of State of West Bengal & Others v. Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, West Bengal & Others. submitted, "transferring investigation of cases to the CBI and the SIT must be done in rare or exceptional cases only, and not merely because some unsubstantiated allegations have been leveled against the local police. The Impugned Order fails to explain as to how the investigations done thus far by the State Police were tainted or biased or did not inspire any confidence, which are necessary perquisites for transfer of cases to the CBI / SIT as held by this Hon’ble Court."

Case Title: State of West Bengal & Ors. Vs. Union of India and Ors.

Also Read: West Bengal approaches Supreme Court challenging Calcutta HC order directing CBI probe in Post-Poll Violence

Also Read: [West Bengal Violence] NHRC Chairperson, Justice Arun Mishra constitutes Committee as per Calcutta HC orders