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Calcutta HC Orders Transfer Of Probe To NIA In Daribhit Deaths Without Loss Of Time

The bench presided by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam, while agreeing to hear the appeal by the state government challenging the transfer of investigation to the NIA, refused to grant any interim stay on the order of the single bench.

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Calcutta High Court: The New Battleground In Bengal
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A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday asked the West Bengal government to comply with an order of a single bench that directed the transfer of investigation to NIA into the death of two youths and injury to others in an incident of violence at Darivit High School in North Dinajpur district.

The bench presided by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam, while agreeing to hear the appeal by the state government challenging the transfer of investigation to the NIA, refused to grant any interim stay on the order of the single bench.

The division bench, also comprising Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, directed the state to implement the order of the single bench to transfer the investigation to the NIA without loss of time.

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The court said that such implementation would be subject to the outcome of the state's appeal.

Noting that the NIA's request in May 2023, through a letter to the additional director general, CID, for providing certain documents is yet to be complied with, the court directed the Criminal Investigation Department of the state to do so within a week.

It also directed the state government to compensate the families of both the deceased and the injured persons, as per the order of the single bench, at appropriate rates within a period of three weeks from the date.

It directed that the appeal will be taken up for hearing again on May 15.

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The single bench had on May 10, 2023, ordered an NIA investigation into the death of two youths in a case of alleged firing and bombing during a protest at Daribhit High School in Uttar Dinajpur district's Islampur in September 2018.

Justice Rajasekhar Mantha had also directed the West Bengal government to pay compensation within two months to the families of the two deceased and those injured in the incident.

Tapas Barman, a college student, and Rajesh Sarkar, an ITI student, were killed in violence during the protest over the recruitment of Sanskrit and Urdu teachers.

Locals had claimed that the school required teachers for mathematics and science and not for the language subjects.

The state government had handed over an investigation into the case to the state CID, following allegations that police had resorted to firing during the incident.

The accusation was denied by the police authorities.

NIA's counsel Arun Kumar Mohanty submitted that the NIA had asked for certain documents from the state CID for carrying out the investigation as per the order of the single bench of Justice Mantha since it was a case of bombing, but were not provided.

Appearing for the state, Advocate General Kishore Dutta submitted that a charge sheet has been filed by the state police in the case and that 33 people have been named as accused in it and claimed that the grounds for transfer of investigation to the NIA from the state were not there.

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While the AG submitted that law and order is a state subject, Additional Solicitor General Asok Kumar Chakrabarti, appearing for the Union of India, stated that it does not apply when a NIA-scheduled offence is committed.

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