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State Should Ensure That Victims Of West Bengal Post-Poll Violence Can Go Back To Homes : Calcutta High Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
28 May 2021 8:08 AM GMT
State Should Ensure That Victims Of West Bengal Post-Poll Violence Can Go Back To Homes : Calcutta High Court
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The Calcutta High Court on Friday orally remarked that the West Bengal Government has the obligation to ensure that people, who got displaced during the post-poll violence, are able to return to their homes.A 5-judge bench lead by Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal was dealing with a petition filed by Advocate Priyanka Tibrewal, who alleged that more than 200 persons got displaced due...

The Calcutta High Court on Friday orally remarked that the West Bengal Government has the obligation to ensure that people, who got displaced during the post-poll violence, are  able to return to their homes.

A 5-judge bench lead by Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal was dealing with a petition filed by Advocate Priyanka Tibrewal, who alleged that more than 200 persons got displaced due to the violence and that they are now unable to return to their homes due to fear of backlash.

She alleged that the police is claiming that normalcy has returned by showing photographs of houses in the violence-affected regions. However, the houses only have the womenfolk, and the male members are afraid of returning due to apprehension of attacks.

"Police goes to the home and clicks the pictures of mothers and wives in the house and tells the court that everything is okay. But the sons are not allowed to enter the house. So clicking the pictures of mothers and wives will not solve", Tibrewal submitted.

Advocate General Kishore Dutta sought time to respond to the petition by saying that he has not been served a copy of the affidavit filed by the petitioner. He also submitted that similar allegations earlier raised by the petitioner in the writ petition have been denied by the State Government as false and baseless.

However the bench observed that the State has the obligation to ensure that people can peacefully return to their homes, regardless of the veracity of the petitioner's allegations.

 

"Irrespective of all allegations, State has the obligation to ensure that people can go back to their houses", the bench remarked.

The Court also told the State Government to furnish complete details of the incident else it shall face 'dire consequences'.

"We make it clear that, leaving aside what is stated in the affidavit, it is the duty of the State officers to place on record details of entire incidents which took place in the area. Any failure on their part will result in dire consequences," the Bench said in its order.

The remarks were made by a 5-judge bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, Justices IP Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Subrata Talukdar, which has been constituted to hear the cases related to violence which took place in West Bengal after the declaration of assembly election results.

However, no order could be passed as a copy of the Affidavit containing these allegations was not provided to the State. The Court has asked the Petitioners to supply the same to the Advocate General today itself, and has posted the case for hearing on Monday, May 31.

During the hearing, the Court criticized the State for opposing the petitions and remarked, "State has to ensure that people get their homes back. How can state oppose?" Justice Soumen Sen said.

The Bench was hearing BJP leader and Advocate Priyanka Tibrewal who informed that more than 200 people have been displaced from homes due to violence, and they are out of their homes during COVID.

She stated that the Police goes to their home and clicks the pictures of mothers and wives in the house and tells the court that everything is okay. But the sons are not allowed to enter the house.

"I am not demanding anything from the state, just protect my right to return to homes," she submitted for the displaced Petitioners.

At this juncture, the Court suggested that Tibrewal could be made a part of the team of the local police to ascertain if male folks are allowed to enter houses.

However, as AG Kishore Dutta attempted to controvert her submissions saying 'Tibrewal is yet to prove her allegations', ACJ Bindal sternly stated that if the state is opposing, it will ask the National Human Rights Commission to ensure that the people are put back to their houses.

"Mr. Advocate General, if you are resisting, we can ask National Human Rights Commission to do it," Justice Bindal remarked.

Tibrewal clarified that she is ready to take the affected population back to their homes and merely requires Police protection during transit. "These people are to be taken back. I will take care of that. All I need is that some police escort," she submitted.

The Bench also heard Senior Advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya who stated that the complaints made to NHRC and other commissions have not been forwarded to DGP, as directed by Court earlier.

Post Poll Violence In West Bengal- Calcutta HC Directs NHRC, NCW, Etc To Forward Affected Persons' Complaint To State DGP

To this, Advocate General informed the Bench that a dedicated email id has been created to receive complaints on the incident and as of May 22, 74 complaints had been received on the said email.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court had issued notice on a PIL seeking compensation and rehabilitation of the victims of the alleged state sponsored violence which took place in West Bengal after the declaration of assembly election results on May 2. The Supreme Court has also asked the West Bengal Government to file a counter-affidavit to a petition which seeks CBI/SIT probe into the killings of two BJP workers, allegedly at the behest of Trinamool leaders.

 


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