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Sunday, December 3, 2023

SC Presiding judge recuses from plea against Bengal violence, hearing delayed indefinitely

Supreme Court judge, Justice Indira Banerjee on Friday recused herself from hearing a petition seeking a CBI/SIT probe into the killings of two BJP workers during the post-poll violence in West Bengal.

At the outset, Justice Banerjee, who hails from West Bengal, said: “I have some personal difficulty in hearing this.”

The matter was adjourned, and the bench directed the registry to list it before a different bench, which does not comprise Justice Banerjee.

As Solicitor General Tushar Mehta urged the court to list the matter on Tuesday next week, the court responded that it may not be proper on its part to give any listing date as the presiding judge was recusing.

A bench of Justice Banerjee and Justice M.R. Shah was scheduled to hear a writ petition filed by Biswajit Sarkar, brother of BJP member Avijit Sarkar who was allegedly killed by Trinamool Congress members during the post-poll violence in West Bengal.

On May 25, the top court granted the state government time to file a counter-affidavit to the petition filed by Sarkar. On May 18, the Supreme Court had sought reply from West Bengal government on a plea seeking CBI probe into the killing of two BJP workers in the post-poll violence in the state.

The plea was filed by Sarkar and co-petitioner Swaranalata Adhikari, whose husband, and BJP booth worker Haran Adhikari, was also killed in post-poll violence. The plea urged the top court to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the murder of Avijit Sarkar and Haran Adhikari. The petitioners stated they were eyewitnesses to the incident.

A 60-year-old woman and a 17-year-old minor girl from West Bengal have also moved the Supreme Court alleging horrific gang-rape by Trinamool workers, as a consequence of their families’ support to the BJP in recently-held Assembly election, and sought SIT probe into all incidents of post-poll violence.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline)

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