The Calcutta High Court has directed the West Bengal police to hand over the investigation into the case to the CBI. A Bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj passed the Judgment yesterday in two Public Interest Litigations.

A 14 year old girl belonging to a scheduled caste was allegedly gang-raped on April 4 after she was invited to a birthday party in Nadia district of West Bengal. The prime accused in the case is Brijgopal Goalain, who is the son of "an influential political leader of the ruling Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) and a member of Gazna Gram Panchayat".

It was alleged that Brijgopal Goalain along with 4 or 5 of his friends raped the minor girl and sent her back to her house at around 8 p.m. in a sick condition. As per the judgment, "She was unable to stand up and was bleeding from her private parts and was smelling of alcohol. It was alleged that she was forced to consume alcohol. The mother of the girl went to local doctor to take medicine and after returning, she found that her daughter was lying dead on the bed".

It was alleged that the family of the victim were prevented from taking her to any private or government hospital and she died on account of excessive bleeding.

After hearing the parties, the Bench held that, "Nothing relevant has been pointed out to counter the allegation of the petitioners that the victim has been cremated hurriedly without any medico-legal examination, without any post-mortem examination and without any death certificate".

The Bench also noted that though the incident took place on April 4, the FIR was registered only on April 10 and that no reason is recorded in the FIR for the delay in reporting the complaint.

The Court said that it has found that the investigation suffers from serious lapses on several important aspects after examining the case diary.

"We cannot lose sight of the fact that the accused is the son of a powerful leader of the ruling party and that there is material available in the case diary indicating that the family members of the victim have been threatened." the Court held.

The Court also observed that "The fact that there is no MLC, no post-mortem report and no death certificate also creates a suspicion about an attempt to suppress the entire incident and to wipe out the evidence."

The Court held that in order to have a fair investigation in the matter and to instil confidence in the family members of the victim and also the residents of the locality and the State, the investigation should be carried out by the CBI, instead of the local police.

The Court has directed the CBI to furnish a report about the progress of the investigation on May 2. The Court also directed the concerned authorities to extend full protection to the family members of the victim and witnesses of the case.

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