calcutta high court

Calcutta High Court: In a writ petition by wife of a deceased political worker associated with the Indian National Congress seeking police protection and alleged inaction by the police following an attack on her husband by members of the ruling political party after the 2023 panchayat elections, a single-judge bench comprising of Jay Sengupta, J., disposed of the petition while emphasising the need for an expeditious and lawful investigation and ensuring the safety of the petitioner’s family through the continued presence of a police picket for the stipulated period.

Factual Matrix

In the instant matter, the petitioner filed a writ petition seeking police protection and alleging police inaction in the aftermath of an attack on her husband, a worker associated with the Indian National Congress, by leaders and workers of the ruling political dispensation after the panchayat elections of 2023. The petitioner claimed that her husband succumbed to severe injuries inflicted during the attack.

Parties’ Contentions

The petitioner’s counsel argued that the police investigation was inadequate, with many private respondents still at large, freely roaming and threatening the petitioner to withdraw her complaint. Despite a court direction on 09-10-2023, the alleged miscreants persisted in their actions, as evidenced by mobile tower location details.

The private respondents denied the allegations made in the writ petition, mentioning that some accused have been granted anticipatory bail, and others are awaiting bail. The State asserted that a thorough investigation is underway, several accused have been arrested and highlighted the initiation of a counter-case under Sections 307 and 326 of the Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). The State further asserted that they are gathering mobile tower location details and recording witness statements.

Court’s Decision

The Court acknowledged the ongoing police efforts and directed the expeditious conclusion of the investigation in accordance with the law. Recognizing the steps taken by the police to provide protection to the victim’s family, the Court disposed of the writ petition. The Court ordered a police picket, comprising two personnel (one armed), to be stationed in front of the petitioner’s house for the next three months to prevent any breach of peace or harm to the petitioner.

[Rubi Khatun v. State of W.B., 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 4798, order dated 04-12-2023]

*Judgment by Justice Jay Sengupta

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Kaustav Bagchi, Mr. Debayan Ghosh and Ms. Priti Kar, Counsel for the Petitioner

Mr. Wasim Ahmed and Sk. Md. Masud, Counsel for the State

Mr. Robiul Islam, Mr. Raju Mondal and Mr. Jayed Hossain, Counsel for the Respondents

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