In the case of District Magistrate of Howrah v. Kashmira Begam Khan, a writ suit filed in court by the two potential candidates for the upcoming W.B. Panchayet Elections, who are the respondents, accusing the Panchayat Returning Officer of falsifying the nomination paperwork they submitted. The respondents claim that they submitted the caste certificate; nevertheless, when the documents were examined, it was determined that the caste certificate had not been submitted, which led to the cancellation of their nomination. The CBI was instructed to conduct the investigation and submit a report to this Court by the single bench in a judgement dated June 21, 2023. The appellant District Magistrate of Howrah and three other officers filed an appeal before the division bench of this Court, contesting the impugned order dated 21-06-2023 made by the single bench of this Court.
What are the conditions under which the Court may properly order a CBI investigation?
The appellants argued that simply because certain charges have been made against officers in the administration, the CBI, the highest investigating body in the nation, cannot be ordered to start an investigation. Any and every administrative error, according to the appellant, cannot be the subject of a CBI investigation. The appellants further argued that because the State of West Bengal or the Panchayat Department of the State of West Bengal were not named parties to the writ petition, the writ petition was invalid for the failure of the respondents to join the required parties and file the caste certificate with their separate nominations.
According to the respondent, the appeal cannot be maintained since the contested order is not a judgement as defined by Letters Patent Clause 15 and has not been resolved in all material respects. The respondent argued that if the court determines there is adequate reason, it has the authority to order a CBI investigation. The respondent further argued that they understood how the documents, which should have been in the State Election Commission’s sole control, were annexed to the appeal.
Analysis of Court Decision
The decision for a CBI investigation into the claim of tampering with the nomination papers submitted for the upcoming W.B. Panchayat Elections by the Panchayat Returning Officer was postponed by a division bench of the Calcutta High Court made up of Justice Arijit Banerjee and Justice Apurba Sinha Ray. The questions that must be addressed at the following hearing date were identified by the court. The Court issued an interim injunction telling the CBI to hold off until the final ruling before acting in accordance with the contested order from June 21, 2023.
CASE NAME – District Magistrate of Howrah v. Kashmira Begam Khan, M.A.T. 1135 of 2023