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Monday, July 26, 2021

Post-Poll Violence: Calcutta HC dismisses state govt’s plea for recall of order on NHRC panel report

Rejecting the recall plea, the five-judge bench, headed by acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, observed that the June 18 order was passed after the State failed to inspire the court's confidence.

Written by Atri Mitra | Kolkata |
Updated: June 22, 2021 6:03:44 am
The High Court had last month put a stay on the recruitment process, saying that marks obtained by candidates who were selected for the interview round need to be published as well.

In a setback to the TMC government in West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court on Monday dismissed its petition to recall the June 18 order in which a five-judge bench of the High Court had directed the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to constitute a committee to examine all the cases of alleged human rights violations during post-poll violence.

Rejecting the recall plea, the five-judge bench, headed by acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, observed that the June 18 order was passed after the State failed to inspire the court’s confidence.

The bench, also comprising Justices Soumen Sen, Subrata Talukdar, IP Mukerji and Harish Tandon, said that the court does not find any occasion to modify or stay its earlier ruling.

“We do not find any case made out for recall, modification or stay of the order passed on June 18. The State can place its submissions and also place actions taken by it before the NHRC. We are not sitting in appeal over the order passed by us,” the High Court said as it dismissed the government’s plea.

The state government had sought the recall of the June 18 order on the ground that it was not heard and adequate opportunity was not given to place all facts on record, including the steps taken by it to address the issues relating to post-poll violence.

The government prayed that the findings in the order of June 18 “against the state of West Bengal and/or its officers may be expunged”.

The state also prayed for a stay of operations given in the order till the disposal of the PILs.

Representing the state government, Advocate General Kishore Dutta urged the court to define “post-poll violence”. “Any violence cannot be called post-poll violence. We should be allowed to place further facts so that everything can be resolved in this court itself. I cannot say State won’t take action. We have already taken action,” he said.

Advocate Priyanka Tibrewal, representing the petitioners, told the order should not be recalled as no prejudice was caused.

Hearing a bunch of PILs alleging that many people from the Opposition parties were subject to violence after the ruling TMC swept to power in the just-concluded Assembly elections in the state, the High Court on June 18 ordered the NHRC to constitute a committee and visit those places where complaints of violence have been filed and submit a report to the court.

The Bench had then said, “It is the duty of the State to maintain law and order and to inspire confidence in the residents. The State from the very beginning had been denying everything but facts on record and report by State Legal Services Authority show differently… Under these circumstances, we direct the NHRC to constitute a committee to examine the complaints.”

The Bench also instructed that a member of the State Legal Service Authority and State Human Rights Commission should be included in the committee. The court said that it had to involve the NHRC because there were allegations that the police were not taking action.

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