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West Bengal Post-Poll Violence - 'No Concrete Steps Taken By State': Calcutta HC Asks NHRC To Examine Complaints

Akshita Saxena
19 Jun 2021 5:11 AM GMT
West Bengal Post-Poll Violence - No Concrete Steps Taken By State: Calcutta HC Asks NHRC To Examine Complaints
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The Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to constitute a committee that will examine complaints filed by persons who were displaced during the post-poll violence in West Bengal.Upon noticing that the State Government has not even responded to some of the complaints filed by the displaced persons, the High Court remarked, "In a case like...

The Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to constitute a committee that will examine complaints filed by persons who were displaced during the post-poll violence in West Bengal.

Upon noticing that the State Government has not even responded to some of the complaints filed by the displaced persons, the High Court remarked,

 "In a case like where the allegation is that life and property of the residents of the State is in danger on account of alleged post poll violence, the State cannot be allowed to proceed in the manner it likes. The complaints required immediate action... It is the duty of the State to maintain law and order in the State and inspire confidence in the residents of the State."

"Though action should have been taken by the State but despite matter being pending in Court apparently no concrete steps have been taken", the Court observed.

A 5-judge Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal reminded the West Bengal Government that it is duty bound to maintain the law and order situation in the State and to inspire confidence in the residents.

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

The Bench also comprising Justices IP Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Subrata Talukdar was hearing a clutch of petitions alleging hundreds of persons got displaced due to the violence and that they are now unable to return to their homes due to fear of backlash.

Earlier, the High Court had constituted a committee comprising of members nominated by NHRC, SHRC & SLSA to coordinate rehabilitation of displaced persons of Entally constituency.

It had also directed the State Legal Services Authority to look into complaints of displaced persons who are being prevented from returning to their homes and take necessary steps for their rehabilitation.

On a perusal of the Authority's report today, the Bench recorded that the facts reflected therein are quite different from what the State has been claiming.

"State from the very beginning had been denying everything but the facts as have been placed on record by the petitioners and also as is evident little bit from the report dated June 3, 2021 filed by the Member Secretary of the West Bengal State Legal Services Authority, are different."

Under these circumstances and keeping in view that the instances sought to be projected by the Petitioners allege violation of human rights, it directed the NHRC Chairman to constitute a committee to examine the complaints.

The Committee shall examine all the cases and may be 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," the Court added.

It has also asked the State to ensure that there is no obstruction of any kind in this process. "Such obstruction shall be viewed seriously, which may entail action under the Contempt of Courts Act besides others," the order stated.

The case will be heard again on June 30.

Click Here To Download Order


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