Sandeshkhali: Sheikh Shahjahan’s custody handed over to CBI after Calcutta HC’s order 

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Sandeshkhali case: Suspended Trinamool leader Sheikh Shahjahan’s custody was handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday a day after the Calcutta High Court ordered the state to hand him over to the investigating agency along with all case materials. Shahjahan is the main accused in the Sandeshkhali extortion, land grab, and sexual assault cases. 

Before giving the custody, the West Bengal CID sent him to SSKM hospital for medical check-up. After he returned to Bhabani Bhawan, the police headquarters, the CBI took custody of Shahjahan.

The investigating agency will also take over the case of an attack on Enforcement Directorate officers at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district on January 5.

The attack took place when the ED officers went to Shahjahan’s house in Sandeshkhali for a raid in connection with the alleged multi-crore ration distribution scam. Following this,  Shahjahan was arrested by the West Bengal Police on February 29.

On Tuesday, a division bench in the Calcutta HC, headed by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam, asked the Bengal police to hand over Sheikh’s custody to the CBI. 

However, the West Bengal government refused to comply with the court order citing an opportinity to appeal at the Supreme Court. When the CBI team reached Bengal Police’s HQ in Kolkata, they were forced to return empty-handed. They were told Shahjahan would remain in police custody till the Supreme Court’s ruling.

On Wednesday morning, West Bengal government counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi appealed before a Supreme Court bench presided over by Justice Sanjiv Khanna to hear the plea but the bench refused to take it up urgently.

Later on Wednesday, the CBI moved a petition before the Calcutta High Court. The state government said that it would file a special leave petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court and Sheikh could not be handed over before that. However, the division bench ordered that Sheikh should be transferred to CBI custody by 4.15 pm on Wednesday.

The CBI has filed three FIRs against Shah Jahan. First on the attack on ED officials at Shah Jahan’s residence in Sandeshkhali, another on the attack on ED officials at Sarberia in North 24 Parganas district and a third FIR filed on the attack on the ED team at TMC leader Shankar Adhya’s residence.



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