Sandeshkhali: SC upholds CBI probe against Shahjahan Sheikh, rejects Mamata govt's plea

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea filed by the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government challenging the Calcutta High Court's order which directed a CBI investigation against TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh into the allegations of crimes against women and land grabbing in Sandeshkhali.

"Why should the state be interested in protecting someone?" a bench of Justices B R Gavai and K V Viswanathan observed, adding that on the last date of hearing, the counsel appearing for the state said the matter be adjourned after the apex court asked this specific query.

"Thank you. Dismissed," the bench said.

The top court was hearing the state government's plea challenging the Calcutta High Court's April 10 order.

While hearing the plea on April 29, the apex court asked the West Bengal government as to why the state should come in as a petitioner for "protecting the interest" of some private individuals.

In its plea before the apex court, the state government said the high court's order demoralised the entire state machinery, including the police force.

The CBI is already investigating the case of attack on the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in Sandeshkhali and has registered three FIRs related to incidents on January 5.

Noting that the investigation will be monitored by the court, the high court directed the CBI to file a comprehensive report on the alleged illegal conversion of agricultural land into water bodies for pisciculture after conducting a thorough inspection of revenue records and physical inspection of land alleged to have been converted.

The high court also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate allegations of crimes against women and land grabbing in Sandeshkhali and submit a comprehensive report to it on the next date of hearing.

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