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Why Calcutta HC dismissed West Bengal plea to recall order directing NHRC to probe post-poll violence

·3-min read

The Calcutta High Court on Monday dismissed the West Bengal government's plea for recalling its order that directed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to examine all cases of alleged human rights violations in post-poll violence in the state.

Why the high court was not interested to recall the order

A five-judge bench of the high court dismissed the prayer of the West Bengal government for recalling the order passed in respect of a bunch of PILs alleging displacement of people from their residences, physical assault, destruction of property, and ransacking of places of business owing to post-poll violence in the state.

"We do not find any case made out for recall, modification or stay of an order passed on 18 June. The state can place its submissions and also place actions taken by it before NHRC. We are not sitting in appeal over order passed by us. Application dismissed," the court said in its order, as per Bar&Bench.

The bench had passed the order on 18 June, taking note of a report submitted by the Member Secretary of West Bengal State Legal Services Authority which said that 3,243 persons were reported to be affected till noon of 10 June.

The five-Bench judge of the court, presided by Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, had directed the NHRC to set up a committee that would visit violence-affected areas. "After hearing the parties, we do not find any case for recalling, modification, or stay of the 18 June order," the court said, as per The Hindu. The Bench also added that the State could place its submissions along with the action taken before the NHRC.

The Member Secretary of WBSLSA further mentioned that in a number of cases the complaints were referred to the superintendents of police or the police stations concerned but no response was received.

The five-judge bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and justices IP Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Subrata Talukdar, had in its order directed the chairperson of the NHRC to constitute a committee to examine the matter.

What did the high court order on 18 June?

Earlier, on 18 June, the court had directed the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to constitute a committee for examining all cases of alleged human rights violations in the post-poll violence in West Bengal. A five-judge bench of the high court heard a bunch of PILs alleging post-poll violence in the state.

The court directed that the committee will examine all the cases, the complaints of which have already been received by the NHRC or which may be received, and "maybe by visiting the affected areas" and submit a comprehensive report to it about the present situation.

The committee would also suggest the steps to be taken to ensure the confidence of the people so that they can peacefully live in their houses and also carry on their occupation or business to earn a livelihood, the bench said.

"The persons prima facie responsible for crime and the officers who maintained calculated silence on the issue, be pointed out," the bench ordered, instructing that the matter would be taken up for hearing again on 30 June.

With inputs from PTI

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