ANI Photo | Early hearing sought for PIL seeking transfer of investigation and trial outside West Bengal in Sandeshkhali sexual assault case

The Supreme Court on Friday assured that it will consider listing for early hearing on public interest litigation seeking transfer of investigation and subsequent trial outside West Bengal in connection to the alleged sexual assault of women living in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali.
However, it expressed unhappiness with the petitioner for trying to pressurise for mentioning the plea after mailing it to the court in the morning.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud told the petitioner that if he had mailed it yesterday, he would have seen it. CJI also said that he checked the mail late last night.
Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava called it urgent and sought an early hearing. CJI asked when have you mailed to which petitioner responded that he has mailed in the morning. CJI said that you cannot pressurise me. “I will list it. Let me see it in the afternoon,” the court said.
Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava has moved the Supreme Court to seek the transfer of the investigation and subsequent trial outside West Bengal in connection with alleged sexual assault of women living in village Sandeshkhali in West Bengal.
The plea has moved by Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava also sought probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under SC-monitoring.
He called the incident deeply disturbing and expressed a reasonable apprehension that the free and fair investigation and trial of the instant case cannot be done in the state of West Bengal and hence, the same deserves to be transferred outside the state of West Bengal in the interest of justice.
“The inaction of the local police authorities is evident from the fact that the said main accused, Sheikh Shahjahan, is absconding and has not been arrested till now. Furthermore, there are serious allegations of the local police authorities acting hand in glove with the said main accused, Sheikh Shahjahan, at the behest of the ruling dispensation and thus, it is further in the interest of justice to transfer the investigation of this case to Central Bureau of Investigation (“CBI”) or a Special Investigation Team (“SIT”) under the monitoring of this (Supreme Court) court,” the plea said.
Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, in his Public Interest Litigation (PIL), also sought to form a committee of three retired judges of high courts, in line with the committee formed in the Manipur atrocity case.
Advocate has urged the top court to issue direction to grant compensation to the victims of the sexual assault in the said village, Sandeshkhali, under the relevant victim compensation schemes; and to deploy central paramilitary forces for protection of the concerned witnesses and victims.
He also sought direction to conduct the trial of the aforesaid case, upon completion of the investigation, in a Fast Track Court situated in Delhi, in an expeditious and time bound manner; and to issue direction to the State of West Bengal to initiate stringent disciplinary action as well as penal action against the erring policemen.

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