Bengal police face Calcutta HC’s ire over ‘lackadaisical’ statement recording in ‘mystery’ death case

Kolkata: The West Bengal Police on Tuesday faced the ire of the Calcutta High Court over the alleged lackadaisical statement recording in a mystery death case of a local BJP leader in the South 24 Parganas district of the state.

While hearing the matter, the single-judge bench of Justice Jay Sengupta also observed that if the state police are unable to carry out the investigation in a transparent and reliable manner, the probe may be handed over to a different investigating agency.

Justice Sengupta also took exception as to why the investigating officers did not do video recording of the statement of a doctor, who is a witness in the case, saying it is not clear why the video recording was not done.

After the panchayat elections in the state last year, BJP candidate Bholanath Mondal had died under mysterious circumstances while he was under treatment at a hospital in Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas district.

His family members alleged that the cause of death was physical assault by the ruling Trinamool Congress workers on the election day, following which he had to be hospitalised. However, the post-mortem report put the cause of death as lever-related ailments.

The family members of Mondal had then approached the Calcutta High Court challenging the content of the autopsy report.

Their counsel alleged that the police had put pressure on the witnesses and the doctor to give statements in a particular manner and that is why no video recording of the statements were made.

The family members also accused the police of putting the witnesses under pressure by unnecessarily sending notices to them.

However, on Tuesday, the state government counsel argued that the death of a person because of medical complications is unnecessarily being politicised.

The matter will be heard next on March 13. Before that, the petitioners should file their points of argument in the form of an affidavit and submit to the court, Justice Sengupta directed.


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