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Calcutta HC rejects WB govt 's plea to recall probe order by NHRC

Monday, 21 June 2021 (19:59 IST)
Kolkata:Calcutta High Court rejected today the state government’s plea to recall its order asking the National Human Right Commission to investigate the complaints filed by people displaced because of post-poll violence across the state.
The five-judge bench, headed by Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal directed on June 18 the NHRC to constitute a committee to probe the complaints filed by the persons displaced because of the widespread violence in the state after the Assembly polls.
Acting Chief Justice Bindal said,” There is allegation that police are not taking action and that is why had to involve NHRC You have not put on record a single complaint received by you. Your conduct in the does not inspire the confidence the of this court.”
The bench observed the order is innocuous and does not prejudice the state in any manner.
The state had moved the high court stating that it was not served a copy of report by the West Bengal State Legal Services Authority regarding rehabilitation of the displaced persons which formed the basis of the 18 June order.
Advocate General Kishore Datta claimed that in the absence of the report, he was unable to effectively argue the case.He, therefore, urged the bench to put the order on hold to give more time to the state so that it could take steps to restore the situation.
“How is it possible? This is simply lethargy on the part of the state government,” the bench observed, “ The proceedings are in the nature of fact-finding and there is no need to recall it.”
Datta said the definition of post-poll violence has to be confined and every other incident cannot be branded as post-poll violence.
The bench had also directed the State Legal Services Authority to look into the complaints of the displaced persons who were prevented from returning home and take necessary steps for their rehabilitation.On a perusal of the Authority’s report, the bench recorded that the facts reflected therein were quite different from what the state has been claiming.
“The state government from the very beginning has been denying everything but the facts as have been placed on record by the petitioners and also as is an evident little bit from the report dated June 3,2021 filed by the Member Secretary of the West Bengal State Legal Authority are different,” the bench said.
Additional Solicitor General Y J Dastoor, appearing for the Union Government also stated before the bench that the court had merely asked NHRC to file a report and “ that does not affect the state administration.”“If this court stays the order, it will amount to giving leverage to the state government,” Dastoor said.(UNI)

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