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The High Court has the power to transfer the investigation to the CBI even without the consent of the State Government: Tripura High Court

The investigation must be taken away from the range of the local police authorities and be handed over to a Special Investigation Team(SIT) that shall be constituted by this Court. Such an opinion was held by The Hon’ble High Court Of Tripura before The Hon’ble Chief Justice Mr. Akil Kureshi and The Hon’ble Justice Mr. SG Chattopadhyay in the matter of Mrs. Buddhapati Chakma vs. The State of Tripura [WP(Crl.) No.6/2021]. 

The facts of the case were associated with a petition filed by the wife of Pindulal Chakma. It was reported that Pindulal Chakma, who belonged to Scheduled Tribe(ST)  succumbed to the injuries on 4th November 2020 caused by a violent mob with deadly weapons dated 22nd October 2020. It seemed that the investigation of the FIR filed for the said case was not proceeding properly. It was because the police failed to arrest the accused. The petitioner stated that the administration forced the tribal protestors to sign an agreement that they would not object to the Vivekananda Memorial Club for organising Durga Puja and after Durga Puja the administration will demarcate the lands allotted to the tribals by the Government. 

It was further stated that attackers did not allow the injured victims to be admitted at the nearby health centre and due to which they had to be taken to hospital 10 kms away. The counsel representing the petitioner contended that no arrests were made by the police and that the accused were roaming freely created an atmosphere of terror. Whereas, the State, contended that the investigating officer had recorded the statements of the witnesses and arrested  Rakesh Chandra Nath. The houses of Kalyan Nath, Gokul Nath and Gourab Nath were raided but they weren’t found. It was also stated that the compensation to the family was under consideration before the State Government. The submissions stated that the said agreement alleged to be coerced was denied. 

After considering all the arguments, The Hon’ble Court held that “… Considering the issues involved and the factual and legal complexities of the investigation, we do not think that this case presents such rare or exceptional circumstances where the CBI should be involved. However, looking to the slow progress in the investigation and the past incidents noted in the earlier portion of this judgment, the investigation must be taken away from the purview of the local police authorities and be handed over to a Special Investigation Team(SIT) that shall be constituted by this Court.”

The Hon’ble High Court Of Tripura stated that “… Further prayers of the petitioner for grant of family pension or Government job to the member of the family of the deceased must rest on the outcome of the investigation particularly with respect to commission of offence under SC ST Act and the Government schemes in this regard which are not brought on record by either side. We, therefore, refrain from giving any such directions and leave it open to the petitioner to agitate these prayers in future if the circumstances so justify… Pending application(s), if any, also stands disposed of.”

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Judgment reviewed by Bipasha Kundu

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