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Bengal Vs Central Agencies Over Shahjahan: SC Denies Relief To Mamata Govt, ED Moves Calcutta HC – News18

Sheikh, facing allegations of sexual misconduct and land encroachment in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali, was apprehended on Thursday morning, police said. (File photo)

The ED alleged non-cooperation from the Bengal Police and urged the court to hold them in contempt

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday approached the Calcutta High Court, saying West Bengal Police is not cooperating with the federal agency in the case involving Shahjahan Sheikh, the prime accused in the Sandeshkhali case.

The ED alleged non-cooperation from the Bengal Police and urged the court to hold them in contempt. A division bench comprising justices Harish Tandon and Hiranmay Bhattacharyya granted leave to the ED to file a contempt petition against the West Bengal government.

Appearing for the ED, Deputy Solicitor General Dhiraj Trivedi prayed for leave to file the contempt petition and sought an urgent hearing of the matter, claiming that it was losing precious time of Sheikh’s custody to the CBI.

The high court had on Tuesday directed the transfer of investigation to the CBI into a mob attack on ED officials when they went to search the premises of Sheikh in Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district on January 5 in connection with a ration scam probe.

SC Denies Relief To Bengal

The West Bengal government told the Supreme Court that the transfer of investigation in the Sandeshkhali case to the CBI in a “cursory manner” violates the law laid down by the apex court. However, the apex court denied any relief to the state government.

The government on Tuesday moved the apex court challenging the Calcutta High Court’s order to hand over papers and former TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan to the CBI by 4:30 pm on Tuesday. In its plea, accessed by CNN-News18, the government said the Calcutta High Court’s order violates the state’s right to judicial review of the ruling.

The government also said that the order cast “unsubstantiated aspersions” on the state’s investigating agency by directing the transfer of the probe to the CBI.

Bengal’s CID Refused Shahjahan’s Custody to CBI

Sleuths of the CBI reportedly waited for over two hours at the CID headquarters in Bhavani Bhawan for Sheikh’s custody, but returned empty-handed, after the state agency said the West Bengal government had moved the Supreme Court on the matter on Tuesday evening.

Sheikh was arrested by the West Bengal Police on February 29 in connection with the attack on ED officials, following which the state government handed over the case to the CID.

Both, the ED and the West Bengal government moved separate appeals in the high court challenging a single bench order which had on January 17 ordered the formation of a joint special investigation team (SIT) of the CBI and the state police to probe the mob attack on the ED officials. While the ED wanted the probe to be transferred to the CBI solely, the state prayed that the investigation be given to its police.

What Calcutta HC Said

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday transferred the probe into the January 5 attack on financial probe agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali by a mob of jailed and suspended Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shahjahan Sheikh’s supporters to the CBI.

The court had directed the police to transfer custody of Shahjahan, as well as case materials, by 4.30 pm to CBI. At 7.30 pm a CBI team left the police HQ in Kolkata empty-handed.

Observing that a fair, honest and complete investigation is required and this alone will retain the public confidence in the impartial working of the state agencies, the High Court said that it has no hesitation in its mind to hold that this confidence has been shaken in connection with this case. “There can be no better case than the case on hand which requires to be transferred to be investigated by CBI,” the division bench observed.

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