New Delhi: The Supreme Court rejected a plea by the West Bengal government against a CBI probe into the massacre of nine villagers in Netai in Lalgarh area in January.

The Apex Court dismissed its plea against a Calcutta High Court. A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly refused to interfere with the high court's order saying, "It doesn't suffer from any infirmity."

The bench, however, clarified that any observation made by the high court in its order should not be construed as aspersions on the state CID which was earlier conducting the investigation into the case.

The state government had challenged the high court's order transferring the probe from state CID to the CBI, claiming the direction had "political overtones".

The Netai massacre on January 7, which claimed nine lives and left many others injured, was allegedly carried out by CPI (M) cadres in Lalgarh area in West Midnapore and 10 persons have been arrested so far.

Opposing the plea of the state government, the High Court Bar Association and the West Bengal Association for Democratic Rights, on whose petition the high court had ordered the CBI probe, pleaded that an inquiry by the central agency is needed as the Union Home Minister had in the past expressed concerns over the law and order situation in the state.

The state government had during the hearing on March 11 assured the Supreme Court that all the accused involved in the case will be brought to justice irrespective of their political alliance.

It had suggested that instead of a CBI probe, the Supreme Court could impose conditions on the CID for an effective and impartial probe into the incident.

(Agencies)