Bengal Govt Moves SC Against Calcutta HC Order Directing Transfer Of Sandeshkhali Probe To CBI

New Delhi: The West Bengal government has appealed to the Supreme Court challenging the Calcutta High Court’s decision to transfer the investigation into the attack on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in Sandeshkhali on January 5th, 2024, to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing the state government, sought an urgent hearing from the Supreme Court bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, but it was refused. The bench advised Singhvi to approach the Registrar General of the Supreme Court for further action.

This move follows appeals from both the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the West Bengal government against the high court’s order to form a joint special investigation team (SIT) comprising the CBI and state police to probe the attack. While the ED sought sole investigation by the CBI, the state government preferred its police force to handle the investigation.

The high court, however, sided with the ED’s request, also ordering the transfer of custody of TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh, arrested by the state police on February 29 in connection with the attack, to the central agency. The division bench, led by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam, instructed compliance with the directives by 4.30 pm on Tuesday.

Former TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh faces accusations not only related to the attack but also alleged sexual crimes against women and land grabbing at Sandeshkhali. The high court’s order allowed his arrest by the CBI, ED, or West Bengal Police, leading to his subsequent arrest by the state police.

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