June 20, 2021 2:04:22 am
Pulling up the state government for taking “no concrete steps” against post-poll violence, the Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered the National Human Rights Commission to constitute a committee for visits to violence-hit areas and asked it file a report by June 30. The state is likely to file a recall petition on Monday against the order.
The five-judge Bench — comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Jindal, Justice Indra Prasanna Mukherjee, Justice Soumen Sen, Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Subrata Talukder — was hearing a plea filed by BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal, who lost in the Assembly polls from Entally in Kolkata. She alleged that a number of people had fled their homes to save their life in post poll violence and were unable to return. She sought the HC’s intervention to ensure safe return of the families. o The court had also received similar complaints on post-poll violence.
“Though action should have been taken by the state but despite matter being pending in Court apparently no concrete steps have been taken,” said the Bench.
Citing affidavits filed by petitioners, the court expressed concern that people who had returned home were compelled to withdraw complaints.
“In our view, this exercise of filing of affidavit and counter affidavit will continue. It may not lead us anywhere because State from the very beginning had been denying everything, but the facts… are different,” observed the Bench.
“Under these circumstances… we request the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission to constitute a Committee of which the Member Secretary of State Legal Services Authority shall be a member, to examine all the cases, the complaints of which have already been received by the Commission or which may be received,” the court said adding that complaints received by the State Legal Services Authority on June 10 should be sent to the commission.
The court ordered, “The Committee shall examine all the cases and, maybe, by visiting the affected areas and submit a comprehensive report to this Court about the present situation and also the steps to be taken to ensure confidence of the people that they can peacefully live in their houses and also carry on their occupation or business to earn their livelihood. The persons prima facie responsible for crime and the officers who maintained calculated silence on the issue, be pointed out.”
Advocate and BJP leader Priyanka Tibrewal alleged that the the state government had failed to maintain law and order and filed false affidavits to “save its neck”.
“So, the National Human Rights Commission’s report will reveal ground reality and suffering of the people of West Bengal,” she said.
State Law Minister Malay Ghatak declined to comment as “this is a subjudice matter”. However, Law Department sources said the state would file file a recall petition on Monday.
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