SC notice to WB govt and Centre on petition for SIT probe into post-poll violence

THE Supreme Court Tuesday issued notice to the West Bengal government and the Central government in a petition seeking the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the incidents of political violence and “targeted” killings that followed the assembly poll results in the state and to determine whether the state machinery was complicit with the perpetrators of the violence.

The court also ordered the impleadment of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Women (NCW) and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to the case. This followed an oral request by senior advocate Pinky Anand on behalf of the petitioners.

The order was passed by a vacation bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai in a plea filed by five persons – Arun Mukherjee, Debjani Halder, Prosanta Das, Paramita Dey and Bhupen Halder.

It alleged that post-poll violence in West Bengal had led to an exodus and the internal displacement of people within the state.

It sought humanitarian relief for those displaced by the violence besides the court’s directions for establishing a fast-track court to adjudicate cases pertaining to the prosecution of any individual or organization.

In another plea on the post-poll violence, the West Bengal Government through senior advocate Siddharth Luthra informed the court that a five-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court was seized of the matter and the state government had also arrested six persons on the complaints of the petitioner. The court, however, asked the state government to file its affidavit within two weeks.