SC judge Indira Banerjee recuses from WB post-poll violence case
Supreme Court judge Indira Banerjee recused herself from hearing a petition on the alleged post-poll violence in West Bengal in May in which BJP workers were killed. Citing "personal difficulty," Justice Banerjee on Friday said she didn't wish to hear the plea filed by families of the deceased, seeking an investigation by the Central Bureau of India (CBI) into the post-poll violence. Here's more.
Withdrawing herself from hearing the plea before the Supreme Court, Justice Banerjee said, "I do not wish to hear the case. Not before me." "I have some personal difficulty in hearing this," added the SC judge who hails from West Bengal. A bench comprising Justices Banerjee and MR Shah was hearing the matter that was taken up by the apex court on Friday.
Due to Banerjee's recusal from the case, the top court had adjourned the matter; the date of the next hearing is yet to be decided. The court also directed the registry to list the matter for hearing before another bench that doesn't comprise Justice Banerjee.
After the results of the West Bengal Assembly elections were declared on May 2, several incidents of violence were witnessed in the state for which the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Opposition BJP blamed each other. The BJP alleged that TMC members killed its workers, attacked its offices, assaulted its women members, and vandalized houses and looted shops of its members.
Meanwhile, a 60-year-old woman from West Bengal's East Midnapore and a 17-year-old girl from Murshidabad alleged they were gang-raped by TMC workers in May for supporting the BJP. They have both claimed the assaults were part of politically motivated violence. They also moved the Supreme Court, seeking the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) or an investigation by the CBI into the issue.
On May 25, the apex court instructed the West Bengal government to file a counter-affidavit on the petition seeking a probe into the killings of two BJP workers. The court also clubbed this with another plea seeking rehabilitation and compensation for victims of the violence.
The TMC government filed its counter-affidavit on Monday, claiming the petitions seeking a CBI probe into the matter were misleading and politically motivated. It requested the SC to dismiss these pleas, adding every incident of violence following elections can't be termed as post-poll violence. The state government also informed three people were already arrested in connection with the alleged killings of two BJP workers.