Feb 24: SC seeks CBI report on the 2007 Nandigram Firing

February 24, 2011


The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the CBI to place its investigation report in the 2007 Nandigram firing incident before it to decide on initiating criminal proceedings against the erring police officials in the case.

A Bench comprising Justices R.V. Raveendran and A.K. Patnaik directed the agency to file its report in sealed cover within two weeks to decide whether the stay on initiating criminal proceedings against the police officials could be vacated or not.

The Bench had on December 13, 2007 restrained the agency from initiating further proceedings in the case on the ground that a Constitution Bench was examining whether apex court and High Courts have the jurisdiction to order CBI probe or not.

But it had later agreed to hear the plea of CBI for vacation of stay after the Constitution bench held that court can direct CBI probe in a case.

The court also directed the agency, which was reluctant to share its findings with the State government, to give it a copy of its report.

It however, refused to pass order on a petition filed by NHRC seeking compensation for the victims of 2nd and 3rd round of firings. The court asked the commission to approach the Calcutta High Court for this.

The High Court had directed the West Bengal Government to pay a uniform compensation of Rs 5 lakh to families of each of the 14 persons killed and Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh to those raped and injured.

Following the firing on March 14, 2007, the Calcutta High Court had asked the CBI to inquire as to what prompted the police to open fire when thousands of villagers had gathered to protest attempts by the police to enter Nandigram.

The report was filed by the agency before the High Court on February 15, 2008.

The state government had challenged the High Court order indicting it for “unjustified” firing on innocent people in Nandigram.

While staying the High Court order, the apex court had also issued notices to rights group Association for Protection for Democratic Rights and other parties on whose plea it had passed the order.

The state government submitted that the High Court had taken an erroneous decision by allowing proceedings against the cops.