Published On: Mon, Feb 19th, 2024

SC refuses to entertain plea seeking SIT probe into Sandeshkhali issue

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a PIL seeking an SIT probe into the allegations of sexual violence against women in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali.

The petitioner — advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava withdrew the PIL

The petitioner argued that a court-monitored SIT probe was ordered in Manipur where violence erupted in May last year. However, Justice BV Nagarathna asked the petitioner not to compare the Sandeshkhali issue with the situation in Manipur.

A bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih said the Calcutta High Court has already taken cognisance of the matter, and it can grant the relief sought by the petitioner.

“Let there be no dual forums,” the bench said while granting liberty to the petitioner to approach the high court.

The petitioner — advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava withdrew the PIL and the matter was dismissed as withdrawn.

Multiple women in Sandeshkhali had raised allegations of systemic sexual exploitation and land grabbing against several TMC leaders. The women alleged that Sheikh Shahjahan, a member of the local Zila Parishad, is the prime culprit.

The women came out with the allegations against the TMC leaders after Sheikh Shahjahan went into hiding. A team of the Enforcement Directorate which was on its way to Shahjahan’s house in Sandeshkhali was attacked in January, and he has been absconding since then.

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