Sandeshkhali: No Stay on Arrest of TMC Leader Shahjahan Sheikh, Says Calcutta HC

Shahjahan Sheikh

The Calcutta High Court clarified on Monday that there is no stay on the arrest of Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shajahan, who stands accused of sexual atrocities and land grab in Sandeshkhali.

The court directed that Sheikh, along with the Enforcement Directorate, the CBI, and the state home secretary, be impleaded as parties in the suo motu matter initiated regarding the allegations of sexual atrocities on women and land grab of tribal people.

A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya directed that a public notice be issued in newspapers by the high court registry, stating that Sheikh has been impleaded in the matter, given his absence from public view since a mob attack on ED officials on January 5.

Responding to a query by the court-appointed amicus curiae seeking clarification on whether there is a restraining order preventing the police from arresting Sheikh, the division bench affirmed that there is no such stay, and the police are at liberty to arrest him.

The court clarified that it had only stayed the constitution of a joint special investigation team of the CBI and the state police, which was ordered by a single bench to investigate the attack on ED officials, in a different matter. The division bench scheduled the matter for further hearing on March 4, 2024.

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