Lalan Sheikh death: Calcutta HC tells CBI to submit internal enquiry report by Dec 19

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday asked the CBI to submit to the court, by December 19, its own interim report on the mysterious death of Lalan Sheikh, the prime accused in the Bogtui carnage case, in the agency’s custody on December 12.

The order was passed by a division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj.

On Thursday, counsel for the Sheikh family, Sabyasachi Chattopadhyay said the despite a single-judge bench allowing the state CID to continue its investigation but without any coercive action against the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers named in FIR, the family cannot reply just on this investigation.

“So, we are requesting for a judicial probe by any sitting judge of the Calcutta High Court,” he added.

Quoting a recent judgement of the Supreme Court, Chattopadhyay said that if any case takes political colours, then there is a provision for judicial probe by a sitting judge.

“CBI is a central agency. The state agency will do its own investigation. So, we are requesting a judicial probe,” Chattopadhyay added.

CBI’s counsel Dhiraj Trivedi, while admitting that the incident was unfortunate, argued that the CBI officers are unnecessarily being held responsible in the matter.

“Lalan Sheikh used to undergo regular medical check-ups. He was complexly fit till 11 a.m. on that day. At around 3.30 p.m. he went to the toilet and there he committed suicide. This is a clear case of suicide. Hence including the provision of Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to punishment for murder, in the FIR filed by state police is baseless. This FIR is politically motivated,” he said.

Counsel for the state government, Samrat Sen argued that the state police has started an investigation in the matter since there is a clear guideline from the Supreme Court to initiate investigation whenever there is an accusation of abnormalities. “Who will then investigate the matter of death in CBI custody?” he questioned.

After hearing all sides, Chief Justice Srivastava asked the CBI counsel about the progress of their internal enquiry in the matter. Trivedi replied that the internal probe is almost at a final stage and the agency would be able to submit a report on this count to court within the next couple of days. Thereafter, the division bench directed CBI to submit the report to court by December 19, which will be the date of the next hearing in the matter.

20221215-180201

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