The Calcutta High Court today refused urgent hearing of a plea mentioned by Advocate Priyanka Tibrewal alleging that rape victims in Sandeshkhali are being forced to withdraw their complaints, threatened by the police officials and inaction by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the matter.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice T.S Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya said, "You please report to the CBI...we cant advance the matter, if you want to file the application, you file. But you have given your complaint three days to the CBI, CBI will probably take some action...on oral mentioning we cannot. Please report it to the investigating agency, we are not the investigating agency."

Advocate Tibrewal submitted, "Under extreme circumstances I am again mentioning the matter of Sandeshkhali, reason being that in the past two days there have been horrific scenes. Most of the women are hiding in the fields. Yesterday, the victims...are forced to withdraw their complaints. I went yesterday to that area. Around 200 women came and gave their names and everything. Police, in their uniforms, I don't know whether they are police or not, are entering into their houses, some of them are captured in the camera, their faces are covered with black clothes they are taking away these women."

Counsel for the State intervened and said, "There is no problem in the area...she is creating all the troubles, if I may say so, Your Lordship is in seisin of the matter, CBI is also investigating the matter."

Tibrewal also submitted that she had reported it to CBI but no action has been taken by them. However, the Court refused urgent listing of the matter.

On May 2, 2024, the High Court had directed the State authorities to extend the fullest cooperation as the Central Bureau of Investigation made an allegation about their non-cooperation. The Court had also sternly directed the District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police and other authorities of North 24 Parganas to comply with the order directing the installation of street lights, CCTVs, Cameras, LED Lights, etc. in sensitive places, failure to which contempt will be initiated against them.

Recently, the State of West Bengal has filed a special leave petition against the order passed by the Calcutta High Court in the Sandeshkhali Violence cases, stating that the Public Interest Litigation Petitioners, Intervenors and other related parties are interested parties with oblique political motives and the State Police has already taken extensive steps in the matter which were ignored by the High Court. The prime accused in these cases is Sheikh Shahjahan who is in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate. The SLP is listed before the Bench of Justice BR Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta, which adjourned the matter on April 29, 2024, and directed that the pendency of the SLP shall not in any manner affect the investigation.

On April, 10, 2024, the Calcutta High Court had ordered that an impartial enquiry is required to be done by an agency which has the power to probe the criminal angle stated to be involved. Therefore, the Court opined that that it was necessary in the interest of justice and fair play, and for expeditious considerations of various complaints and allegations, an impartial enquiry was required to be conducted.

The Court had said that the State of West Bengal shall provide the required support to the CBI to enquire into the matter. After the order passed by the High Court, the CBI made a dedicated email ID i.e. [email protected] for people of Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district to register complaints of crimes against women and land grabbing.

The High Court had taken suo moto cognizance in response to the newspaper reports of alleged sexual assault, violence and land-grabbing cases in Sandeshkahli, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal. The Court had clarified that there is no interim order of stay of the arrest of Sheikh in any case before the court and also expressed anguish and concern over the fact that in earlier cases of a similar nature, the Police Authorities took four years to file chargesheets and there was a delay in investigations/inquiries. The Court had expressed anguish and concern over the fact that in earlier cases of a similar nature, the Police Authorities took four years to file chargesheets and there was a delay in investigations/inquiries.