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So Subjudice Subhuman We Are!

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    So Subjudice Subhuman We Are! Palash Biswas Contact: Palash C Biswas, C/O Mrs Arati Roy, Gosto Kanan, Sodepur, Kolkata- 700110, India. Phone: 91-033-25659551
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 28, 2007
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      So Subjudice Subhuman We Are!

      Palash Biswas

      Contact: Palash C Biswas, C/O Mrs Arati Roy, Gosto Kanan, Sodepur, Kolkata- 700110, India. Phone: 91-033-25659551

      So subjudice, subhuman, subordinate enslaved people we happen to be in this divided geopolitics!

      One of the most-invoked legal phrases in connection with journalism is the sub judice rule. Sub judice is Latin for under the law, and limits comment and disclosure relating to judicial proceedings in order not to prejudge the issue, influence the court, or obstruct the administration of justice. Violation of the sub judice rule may result in contempt of court. Lawyers, litigants, witnesses and media practitioners are all covered by the rule, even those who have never stepped inside the courtroom. It applies both to pending cases and cases that have already become final.Fair criticism is allowed, but there may be a contempt of court if publication tends to bring the court into disrespect or scandalize it, or if there is a clear and present danger that the administration of justice would be impeded.

      justice PB Sawant condemning misinformation campaign against resttled partition victim Bengali dalit refugees countrywide, suggested to go to Supreme Court against the Citizenship Amendment act depriving citizenship of the Bengali refugees. He was addressing the National Convention on the Citizenship Amendment Bill organised by BAMCEF in Nagpur years back. The delegates coming over different states decided against this. I had long discussion with Justice Sawant on the legal implications. I was in favour to go to the Apex court. But BAMCEF President Vaman Meshram opposed thye move vehemently as he felt that judicial activism may harm the dalits much more. He discussed the judicial prejudice and brahminical hegemony as hinderance to Justice. At last there was consensus for a mass movement instead of legal action.

      The latest decision against scribes has given me an opportunity to veryfy my stance!The Congress today declined to comment on the issue of alleged contemptuous reports against former Chief Justice of India Y K Sabharwal.
      "The Congress party does not feel the need to comment on matters related to former Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal for the simple reason that the matter is already pending in a court and is directly sub-judice," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters here.

      "A Judicial Inquiry Bill is in Parliament, hence there is no need to comment on the issue," he said.

      India's judiciary is being accused of gagging the media and acting above the law after a court sentenced journalists and a cartoonist to jail for accusing a retired chief justice of misconduct while in office.Reports Reuters.Mid Day, a Delhi tabloid, ran a series of stories in May which said Y.K. Sabharwal, until recently the most powerful man in the Indian judiciary, had used his office to benefit his sons' businesses, among other allegations.Last week, Delhi High Court sentenced two editors who reported the stories, the paper's publisher and a cartoonist to four months in jail for criminal contempt of court, although they were released on bail while they appeal.

      Meanwhile,the Supreme Court has stayed the Delhi High Court order sentencing four Mid Day journalists to four months in jail for contempt. The court will hear the case next in January.They were convicted by the Delhi High Court last Friday. NDTV reports.In May this year Mid Day had carried a series of articles alleging that the two sons of former Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal who are involved in the construction of malls had directly benefited from his orders to seal shops and offices in homes. Justice Sabharwal has refuted the charges.

      Investigative journalists should be aware of their legal rights, says Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) chairperson Jose Manuel Diokno. Diokno gave a lecture on legal concerns in investigative journalism during a four-day training on investigative journalism conducted by the PCIJ to Luzon-based reporters and editors.

      These include the following:

      Right to information on matters of public concern
      Right to be free from prior restraint
      Right to report on any legislative, judicial or other official proceedings and the statements made in those proceedings, or any other acts of public officers in the exercise of their functions
      Right to report on matters of public concern and the conduct of public officials and public figures
      Right to protect your sources

      The journalists had described the order as harsh and took out a silent protest march from the Press Club to the Supreme Court earlier today. Many commentators have accused the judiciary of using the law to gag the media and shield itself from scrutiny. Politicians and retired Supreme Court judges have added to calls for an inquiry.

      "Instead of going into the truth of these charges, which the judiciary can do with its means and mechanisms, it looks like orders are being passed to terrorise these people," Somnath Chatterjee, speaker of the lower house of parliament, was quoted as saying in Friday's Hindustan Times.Around 50 journalists protested in Delhi on Friday, demanding the case be dropped.Twenty-six activists and journalists applied on Thursday to be included as defendants in the case, saying they reiterated the allegations, but their application was rejected.

      The high court argued the stories damaged the reputation of the Supreme Court, although Sabharwal had retired months before the stories ran.

      A senior lawyer in the Bombay High Court has moved the Attorney General's office seeking permission to initiate contempt proceedings against Union Law Minister Hans Raj Bhardwaj over a statement regarding allowing foreign law firms to set up their offices in India, when the matter is sub-judice.Adv M P Vashi, in a letter to the Attorney General of India, has said the Union Minister had no right to pre-judge the issue when the matter was sub-judice and the statement given by the Minister amounted to contempt of court. It said the Union Law Minister wanted to influence the judgement of the court.

      A city-based newspaper had carried a story based on Mr Bhardwaj's statement saying that the government had made up its mind to permit foreign law firms to set up offices in India in collaboration with their domestic partners.

      The Supreme Court today directed the Andhra Pradesh government not to make any further admissions in professional and educational institiutions under the controversial Act providing four per cent reservations to the Muslims. However, the apex Court said that the admissions made till date will be protected and posted the matter for further hearing on October five. The admission process was scheduled to be completed on September 30. A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said that the status quo be maintained. The Court deferred the hearing after the Andhra Pradesh government sought some time to clarify the queries about the inclusion of 14 sub-castes of the Muslims in the list of socially and educationally backward class.

      On Tuesday, the Supreme Court judges asked the electronic media to refrain from commenting on matters that are sub judice. First there are the country’s contempt laws to consider. When a case is in court, there must be no attempt to divert the course of justice or to question the competence and integrity of the concerned judges. Two, as one SC judge observed, talk show participants with no legal training are allowed to hold forth on highly sensitive sub judice issues. Legality aside, do such 'debates' add to the knowledge of viewers or swamp them with misinformation? Are members of the media, unwittingly or otherwise, becoming a party to propaganda? Is the media bringing clarity to public discourse or confusing matters further? It goes without saying that we vehemently oppose any curbs on freedom of expression. But these are important questions that the media would do well to ponder. There is no room in ethical journalism for media trials and character assassination, the very traits that the public and the independent media have long deplored in state-run television. True, the electronic media is still in its infancy in Pakistan but it is time it evolved its own code of conduct that incorporates the basic tenets of responsible journalism. Media ethics need not be an oxymoron.

      'Indian Idol' Prashant Tamant on Friday appealed for peace in Siliguri after violence and arson rocked the this commercial town, where curfew was imposed and the Army was called in.A radio jockey's remarks against Indian Idol Prashant Tamnang triggered clashes between his fans and local residents and widespread violence and arson here after which curfew was imposed and army called in to help maintain law and order. The trouble erupted when a 2000-strong procession of fans were marching to the SDO's office to submit a memorandum in protest against the derogatory comments by a FM radio jockey in Delhi against Tamang, the police said. An ambulance which sought to enter the Siliguri Zilla Hospital on Hospital Road at that time was obstructed by the fans. This was protested by local people and the Idol's fans in turn vandalised shops in the area. The police fired three rounds injuring two persons as local people brickbatted and chased the fans who took shelter in a court compound, Inspector General of Police, North Bengal R J S Nawla told PTI.

      The Supreme Court today ordered the deportation of four Pakistani nationals who are languishing in the jails of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab for over a decade without being produced before any court. A Bench of Justices B N Aggrawal and P P Naolekar while quashing the proceedings against the four Pakistani prisoners directed the Centre to deport them by November 31 and file a compliance affidavit before it. The apex Court asked the J&K Government to recommend the deportation of the prisoners by October 31, so as to facilitate the Centre carry out the necessary formalities for deporting them by the deadline fixed. Enclosed in the brackets is the number of years spent by the prisoners in the various jails after being detained by the J&K under the Public Safety Act, whose deportation has now been ordered by the Supreme Court.
      Raza-ul-Haq (twelve-and-half years, Anantnag), Mohd Osman Sheikh (four-and-half years, Sangrur, Punjab), Mohd Farooq Raja (12 years, Kupwara) and Kudratullah alias Masood (12 year, Jammu). The maximum sentence, even if convicted under the Public Safety Act is two years, but the prisoners were detained in the jails without being produced in the courts, it was alleged in a petition.

      Its unsafe to convict on mere dying declaration: SC
      The Supreme Court has cautioned that it is "unsafe" to convict a person on the basis of a dying declaration alone, where suspicion is raised as regards the veracity of the deceased`s statement.

      CPI(M) wants probe into reported charges against Sabharwal
      The CPI(M) has sought a probe into the reported charges made against former Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal to establish the truth.

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      'People linked to Gandhis got Bofors deal pay-offs'

      Sumon K Chakrabarti / CNN-IBN

      Published on Thursday , September 27, 2007 at 15:37 in Nation » India section

      Stockholm: He is the man who knows the inside story of the Bofors Scam. For the first time ever the Chief Swedish Investigator in charge of the Bofors case since 1989 — Sten Lindstrom — has spoken on camera about the investigations for the first time.

      While claiming that the CBI has fooled the Indian public, he said that the money from the Bofors deal was paid to Italian businessman Ottavio Quattorochi only because of his proximity with the Gandhi family and Indian politicians.

      He, however, admitted there was no direct evidence of pay-offs against the Gandhis.

      Sten Lindstrom was the man who headed the Bofors investigations in Sweden. For 15 years he was in charge of the probe, bringing out all the details in one of India's most high-profile scandals.

      Lindstrom's allegation puts the CBI in dock. He says that the CBI officials have so far met him for only 20 minutes and that the Indian Government has never been serious of getting any cooperation from Sweden.

      Woman denied child custody for being HIV+

      Swati Vashishta / CNN-IBN
      Jaipur: It's just a photograph of her nine-year-old daughter that a Jaipur-based HIV positive woman has seen for almost two years now. Infected by her husband, who died in 2003, she was forcibly separated from the child by her in-laws in 2005.

      However, the real blow for her came a week ago when a trial court in Jaipur denied her the child's custody on the grounds that she is HIV positive and hence cannot look after the child.

      "They say I can't look after her. When her grandparents, who are in their 70s can look after her, then why can't I? And I have already said that as long as I am alive, my child should be with me and then with whoever she wishes to stay with," says the woman.

      Adds Secretary People's Union for Civil Liberties Jaipur, Kavita Shrivastava, "What they have ended up doing is violating her mother's natural guardian right, which the Supreme Court has over and over again held for women. The court has denied her this right and that too on a discriminatory ground that she's HIV positive."


      RJ Nitin: India's Jade Goody has hills on fire


      The Darjeeling Hills has erupted in mass outrage following a reckless chatter by a radio jockey of a Delhi-based FM radio station, in which the RJ described Indian Idol Prashant Tamang as ‘chowkidwar se Indian Idol’. BSF has been called in Siliguri to control the situation and curfew has been imposed in the entire subdivison. The West Bengal Government, meanwhile, has decided to take legal action against the FM channel and the radio jockey for the damaging remark. [2027 hrs IST]

      Demolition of Adam`s Bridge to cause natural disasters: Experts

      Amidst debates on whether `Ram Setu` was man-made or a natural formation, geological experts on Friday warned that demolition of Adam`s Bridge for the implementation of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) might trigger natural disasters.

      Setu row: Madras HC declines to stay bandh call by DMK

      Former Punjab Advocate General arrested in City Centre scam

      Sanjay Dutt to get TADA court order copy by mid-Oct

      Bachchan files writ in Lucknow bench against land cancellati...


      Madras High Court has taken exception to the DMK's 12-hour bandh call on October 1, calling it illegal.The bandh has been called in support of the speedy implementation of the Sethusamudram project.The high court has asked the state chief secretary to ensure free movement of rail, air and road traffic.The court has ordered that the public should not be prevented or attacked from doing their routine work.

      CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat today paid a visit to the house of Rizwanur Rehman, who died under mysterious circumstances after he was allegedly threatened by police for marrying a Hindu girl.

      The state government had yesterday ordered a judicial probe into the incident even as the family of Rehman, a graphic artist, had moved the Calcutta High Court for a CBI probe.

      Speaking at his home, Karat demanded a time-bound probe to unravel the truth.

      "It is a sad incident and involves money power and conservative sentiment," she told reporters.

      Brinda demanded that steps be taken against the guilty after the inquiry.

      Rizwan-like case in Gajole?

      MALDA, Sept. 27: A Rizwan-like case has shaken police officials at Gajole in Malda district.
      Rajkumar Saha, a 26-year-old boy "legally" married an adult girl, Poulomi Raha, daughter of Mr Asim Kumar Raha, circle-inspector of Gajole police station recently. It was alleged that the police officer forcibly picked up his daughter from Saha's house and threatened him with dire consequences. Rajkumar had informed the matter to the Malda SDO, seeking justice. Though the SDO instructed the police to look into the matter, nothing had allegedly been done. Saha, whose life was in danger, recently fled home. n SNS

      Stung by the public outcry over the death of businessman Ashok Todi's son-in-law Rizwanur Rahman, CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Thursday ordered a judicial inquiry by a retired high court judge.

      Two hours before the chief minister ordered a judicial probe into the death of Rizwanur Rahman on Thursday, his mother Kishwar Jahan and elder brother Rukbanur moved a writ petition in Calcutta High Court, praying that the CBI be called in.

      Moving the petition before Justice Soumitra Pal, advocate and former Trinamul Congress MLA Kalyan Banerjee said: "My clients do not think they will get justice if the probe is conducted by state government officials. So, we are requesting you to appoint the CBI to conduct the probe."

      Even after Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s announcement of a judicial probe, the Rahman family stuck to its demand. "After my brother was hounded to death by the police force, how can we have any faith in the state government machinery? Only a CBI inquiry can bring out the truth," said Rukbanur.

      "They have ordered a judicial inquiry, but the police officers responsible for his death are still holding their posts. Why have they not been removed for the sake of an impartial investigation?" he demanded.

      Banerjee claimed that the senior police officers had violated the law by meddling in the matter without registering a case. Fearing that "Rizwanur was murdered", he said a CBI inquiry could run parallel to the judicial probe.
      The state government’s announcement of a judicial probe into the death of Rizwanur Rahman, meant to silence critics and distance itself from the probe to lend it impartiality, has failed to satisfy the Opposition.

      While Trinamul Congress leader Mamata Banerjee called the probe "toothless", the Congress said it would go through the terms of reference of the Justice Alok Chakraborty Commission before spelling out its stand.

      "Only a CBI probe can unveil the truth," said Mamata on Thursday. "People must know that a judicial probe is headed by a retired judge handpicked by the government. The government’s influence over the judge cannot be ruled out."

      Besides, she pointed out, a government can sit on the findings of a judicial probe, as has happened with the report of the Srikrishna Commission that had probed the Mumbai blasts of 1993 or the Bhattacharya Commission report on the Wakf property scandal.

      "If the police officers accused of threatening Rizwanur continue to hold their posts, they will pressure the Chakraborty Commission to come up with a biased report," she alleged.

      State Congress working president Pradip Bhattacharyya said: "The judicial probe cannot unearth the truth if the terms of reference are not strong enough."

      The commission should look into the role of the cops in the case and also the manner in which Ashok Todi, Rizwanur’s father-in-law, established links with senior police officers, he added.

      Jamait Ulema-i-Hind general secretary Siddiqullah Chowdhury demanded that a sitting judge of Calcutta High Court be asked to head the inquiry and that the option of referring the case to the CBI be kept open.

      After Rizwanur Rahman’s family alleged that some Left Front leaders had approached them to accept money and hush up the case, names of two prominent CPM leaders — minority affairs minister Abdus Sattar and former MLA Rabin Deb — were dragged into the controversy.

      Without naming any leader, Shahidul Rahman, Rizwanur’s uncle, brought the charges on Wednesday. Rukbanur, Rizwanur’s brother, cleared the confusion on Thursday.

      "I spoke to my uncle and he told me that people who had come along with Deb and Sattar had offered money. They did not want us to raise a hue and cry over the death," Rukbanur told Metro.

      Shahidul, who lives a few metres away from the Rahman home at 7B Tiljala Lane, could not be contacted.

      Both the leaders named by Rukbanur reacted strongly and denied the charges, which have left the party red in the face.

      The party and the government are already in a spot because of allegations that some senior police officers had pressured Rizwanur to send his wife back to her parents. Police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee compounded matters by backing his men and announcing that Rizwanur had committed suicide.

      Trying to steer clear of the controversy, Sattar said he went to Rizwanur’s home alone and Deb joined him a few minutes later.

      "It was the second time I was meeting the family. The first time I met them was in the party office, when Rukbanur went to meet Biman Bose. If someone from the crowd talks about giving money, we can’t be held responsible. However, given the nature of the charge, I would urge them to come up with proof," Sattar said.

      Deb was, however, much more aggressive and said the charges had a political motive.

      "We know Shahidul is Trinamul Congress MLA Javed Khan’s man and so, his statements are politically motivated," said Deb.

      "I went to Rizwanur’s house with our party’s Calcutta district secretariat member Prasad Guha to express solidarity with the family. No party leader has talked about giving them money," said Deb.

      But the Rahman family has stuck to the charges. "Offers of money and other favours to maintain silence started pouring in after my brother’s death and they came from various quarters of the CPM. But we will not yield to pressure from police or any political party," said Rukbanur.

      Six days after Rizwanur Rahman was found dead, his father-in-law Ashok Todi appeared at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters for prolonged questioning.

      Todi entered Bhabani Bhavan at 3.40pm on Tuesday and emerged at 6.50pm after giving sleuths a detailed account of what had happened since he came to know of daughter Priyanka’s registry marriage with Rizwanur. He mentioned the names of all the police officers he had met for assistance.

      After recording Todi’s statement, Bhupinder Singh, the additional director-general CID, echoed what chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had said at Writers’ Buildings earlier — that no officer would be shielded.

      "We have taken his statement and will cross-check it with whatever he had told others on previous occasions. We will talk to all those who got involved in this case, including police officers," said Singh, overseeing the probe into the mysterious death of Rizwanur on September 21.

      Where was Priyanka? CID officials said she was traumatised and so, had stayed away. "But we will definitely question her as soon as possible," said Singh.

      The CID had told Todi to appear for questioning at Bhabani Bhavan on Thursday.

      Just after 3.30pm, a steel-grey Chevrolet Tavera (WB02 X3621) came to a halt in front of the CID headquarters. Todi, in a white shirt and black trousers, stepped out, along with one of his employees and two lawyers.

      Sleuths waiting in front of the main entrance whisked him away to the office of Niraj Narayan Pandey, the deputy inspector-general (CID).

      "He told us that he fell ill on September 7 and was admitted to a private hospital. We will check the records of the hospital," Singh later said.

      Todi also mentioned that the written agreement between his relative Anil Saraogi and Rizwanur — with the assurance that Priyanka would return to her husband after seven days — was flouted because of "family problems".

      Earlier in the day, CID officials visited Rizwanur’s Tiljala Lane house and spoke to his family members.

      "They asked for a copy of a the marriage certificate of Rizwanur and Priyanka. They also took away some photographs of Priyanka and Rizwanur. Then they asked us in detail what had happened the day Ashok Todi had come here to take his daughter home," said Rukbanur, Rizwanur’s brother.

      Sleuths on Thursday also questioned Sadique Hussain, one of the witnesses in the marriage of Rizwanur and Priyanka. Sadique told CID officials how some officers of the detective department’s anti-rowdy squad had threatened him after he refused to give a false statement that Rizwanur — an ex-student of St Xavier’s College (1999 batch) — had married Priyanka against her wishes.

      A court has dismissed a petition of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) seeking registeration of a case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for passing critical remarks on Lord Ram.

      The order was passed yesterday by the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Faizabad on a petition filed by Mahant Kanhaiyya Das on behalf of the VHP.

      "We cannot forgive the TN CM for passing ignominious remarks about Lord Ram, the icon of the Hindu Community. Now, we would file a petition before the Allahabad High Court,'' VHP state media in charge Sharad Sharma told mediapersons here.

      Meanwhile, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas president Mahant Nritya Gopal Das said ''the indignified comments of the DMK chief has hurt the religious sentiments of crores of Hindus.

      The ignoramus people, who are challenging the existence of Lord Ram ought to go through Ramayan properly.'' He underlined ''...those sitting on dignified posts should not pass such unholy comments.''
      Mayawati govt indulging in political vendetta: Mulayam

      Lucknow, Sept 27: Samajwadi party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday said recommendations of a probe panel to cancel allotment of plots to politicians made during his regime was a classic example of political vendetta on part of the Mayawati government.

      "The BSP government is harassing his party workers and the probe panel's recommendations is an example of this," he told reporters here.

      "Mayawati had promised to lodge me and party leader Amar Singh in jail during her election campaign. The lodging of an fir against Singh in a plot allotment case is part of a well-planned strategy," Yadav said.

      SC: What's top priority, schools or quota?
      28 Sep 2007, 0011 hrs IST,Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN
      Print Save EMail Write to Editor

      NEW DELHI: The gradual reduction in central contribution to universalisation of primary education in contrast to its willingness to spend Rs 36,000 crore to create infrastructure to accommodate 27% OBC quota made the Supreme Court on Thursday ask the Centre to specify its priority — children's education or reservation.

      This query from a five-judge bench headed by chief justice K G Balakrishnan, which is hearing a bunch of PILs challenging the validity of the quota law, came after it noticed that the central share in elementary education programmes in the states had come down from 80% to 50% over the years.

      "If you cannot meet 80% of the funds required for elementary education, why spend Rs 36,000 crore on higher education? This money could be put in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to empower all children. What is your primary requirement — right to education or social empowerment?" said the bench, also comprising justices Arijit Pasayat, CK Thakker, RV Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari.

      Wriggling out of a difficult situation on which the court wanted him to take a stand, solicitor-general GE Vahanvati said for the government, right to education guaranteed under Article 21A and social empowerment provided under Articles 15 and 16 were equally important as both were fundamental rights of the citizens.
      "We cannot look at Article 21A and ignore Articles 15 and 16. The measures to achieve results under both spheres have to go hand-in-hand and simultaneously," he said.

      The court said the government was free to decide its policies, but would do well to consider whether grant of money for universalisation of education would not benefit the backward class.

      "If you do not give money to fulfil the mandate to universalise elementary education, then 60% of the children belonging to backward classes will be deprived of education. Will they be able to take advantage of reservation in higher education under 27% OBC quota," the bench asked. The foundation was not visible, yet the government was trying to spend money on giving the building an oil paint finish, the bench remarked, summing up its views on the debate. However, the bench clarified, saying: "We are not doubting the Centre's sincerity towards elementary education."

      Asked about the time-limit that the Centre had fixed for the 27% OBC quota, the SG said the measure was started 60 years after India gained Independence and hence, the question of fixing a time-limit on this social affirmative action did not arise at this stage.

      "Time-limit cannot be conceived at present when we have started it after 60 years. If Parliament at a later stage finds that a large number of backward class people have socially advanced through this measure, it will consider it at that point of time," he said. Concluding his arguments, Vahanvati said the 27% OBC quota in no way affected the seats available for the general category and hence the court should give the green signal to this social engineering mechanism.

      Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today announced a judicial probe into the death of Rizwanur Rahman, saying the "money power" and "communal" angles to the case needed investigation.

      Retired Justice Aloke Chakraborty will conduct the inquiry — announced three days after the chief minister had ordered a CID probe — and the government will draw up the terms of reference "as soon as possible".

      "The judge will be an independent authority. He can summon anyone he wants," the chief minister said.

      Judicial probes usually take a long time but the government may have pre-empted a CBI investigation, as demanded by Rizwanur’s family who approached the high court today. The petition will be heard tomorrow.

      Rizwanur, 30, who had married businessman Ashok Todi’s daughter against her family’s wishes, was found dead on the railway tracks on Friday morning. His written allegation that Lalbazar had colluded with his father-in-law in armtwisting him and trying to break up the marriage has provoked public outrage.

      Todi was questioned today in Bhabani Bhavan for over three hours.

      "We have heard the chief minister has ordered a judicial probe but the officers responsible for my brother’s death still hold their posts," Rizwanur’s brother Rukbanur said. "Only a CBI inquiry can bring out the truth."

      But a grim-faced chief minister said this evening: "There will be no effort to shield any officer. There are many dimensions to this case. There is money power and the communal angle."

      Asked why he was instituting a judicial probe having already ordered a CID inquiry, Bhattacharjee said: "Since then I have found out many other facts… from government and political sources as well as a cross-section of people. This incident has shaken up the people… raised many questions in people’s minds."

      Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty said a judicial probe would "put the case in deep freeze for five years".

      "I shall try my best to find the truth as soon as possible," Justice Chakraborty said.

      Some legal experts said judicial inquiries were toothless. "Judicial commissions lack the power to arrest people," advocate Arunava Ghosh said. "They can only make recommendations that the government may or may not accept."

      The CID probe will continue, but the judge’s decision will prevail, Bhattacharjee said.

      The transport minister said the three officers accused should be removed from their current posts for the duration of the CID probe.

      Police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee had earlier caused an uproar by appearing to suggest his officers had a right to interfere in legally valid marriages. He had also declared the death a suicide without a post-mortem report.

      Too perfect a suicide
      - Holes in police theory on Rizwanur

      Rizwanur Rahman was found dead on the railway tracks between Ultadanga and Dum Dum last Friday. The Telegraph visited the spot and spoke to some residents of Bidhan Pally and Shanti Colony, bordering the rail tracks, who had found the body of the 30-year-old.


      At 10.35am, Ashish Das, a resident of Shanti Colony, was the first to see the body of a youth lying on the rail tracks, blood oozing from the head.

      The back of the head had been blown off. No other signs of injury were visible. "His handsome face was intact," another witness said.

      The youth was sporting a white shirt, "greyish" trousers and leather shoes. In his

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