Lalan Sheikh death: Calcutta HC bars CID from any coercive actions against CBI officers

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday barred West Bengal Police’s CID from taking any coercive action against the seven CBI officers named in the FIR relating to the mysterious death of Bogtui carnage main accused Lalan Sheikh in the central agency’s custody on Monday evening.

A single-judge bench of Justice Jay Sengupta also barred the CID from submitting any final report on its findings in the matter without the prior approval of the court. The bench also directed the CID to make video-recording of its entire process of investigation on this count.

Justice Sengupta also asked the CID to make Lalan Sheikh’s wife, Reshma Bibi, a party to the plea, since without knowing her views, it will not be possible for the court to give a directive on the second post-mortem examination of the body of the deceased.

The preliminary post-mortem report has indicated that there had been no evidence of the cause of death being ante-mortem in nature. The preliminary report has also indicated that pressure on the windpipe because of hanging was the reason for the death.

Justice Sengupta made an interesting observation on the mention of some wounds on the body of Lalan Sheikh. According to him, such wounds could have been caused while the hanging body was being brought down. On the FIR filed by Reshma Bibi, Justice Sengupta, observed that someone might have helped her in drafting the report.

On Wednesday morning, the Central Bureau of Investigation challenged the FIR filed against seven of its officials in the matter. The case in the matter was originally started by the Birbhum district police and the CID later took over the probe on this count.

CBI’s counsel on Wednesday argued in the court that Lalan Sheikh died by hanging himself in the toilet of the CBI camp office at Rampurhat in Birbhum district on Monday evening.

“There was no torture on him while he was in CBI custody. Before the unfortunate incident, there was no such complaint of torture. Before the suicide, the deceased went through a thorough medical examination, which also did not indicate any major wound on his body,” counsel argued.

The counsel also claimed that in all probability the FIR was drafted by Reshma Bibi following the instructions of somebody. “Otherwise, she would not have known the names of the CBI officers. The FIR named a CBI officer, who is investigating the cattle- smuggling case and is in no way associated with the parallel probe of CBI in Bogtui carnage and murder of Trinamool Congress leader Vadu Sheikh,” the CBI counsel observed.

The next hearing in the matter is scheduled on December 28.




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