Nandigram firing: SC directs CBI to place report before it

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New Delhi, Feb 24 (PTI) The Supreme Court today askedthe CBI to place its investigation report in the 2007Nandigram firing incident before it to decide on initiatingcriminal proceedings against the erring police officials inthe case.

A Bench comprising Justices R V Raveendran and A KPatnaik directed the agency to file its report in sealed coverwithin two weeks to decide whether the stay on initiatingcriminal proceedings against the police officials could bevacated or not.

The Bench had on December 13, 2007 restrained theagency from initiating further proceedings in the case on theground that a Constitution Bench was examining whether apexcourt and High Courts have the jurisdiction to order CBI probeor not.

But it had later agreed to hear the plea of CBI forvacation of stay after the Constitution bench held that courtcan direct CBI probe in a case.

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

It however, refused to pass order on a petition filedby NHRC seeking compensation for the victims of 2nd and 3rdround of firings like victims of first round of firings. Thecourt asked the commission to approach the Calcutta High Courtfor this.

The High Court had directed the West Bengal Governmentto pay a uniform compensation of Rs 5 lakh to families of eachof the 14 persons killed and Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh to thoseraped and injured.

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

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

The state government had challenged the High Courtorder indicting it for "unjustified" firing on innocent peoplein Nandigram.

While staying the High Court order, the apex court hadalso issued notices to rights group Association for Protectionfor Democratic Rights and other parties on whose plea it hadpassed the order.

The state government submitted that the High Courthad taken an erroneous decision by allowing proceedingsagainst the cops.

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