The Calcutta High Court Friday 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 "may be 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 confidence of the people so that they can peacefully live in their houses and also carry on their occupation or business to earn 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 June 30.
The bench directed the state government to provide all logistic support to the committee wherever and whenever they wish to visit any place and to ensure there is no obstruction of any kind in this process.
"Such obstruction will be viewed seriously, which may entail action under the Contempt of Courts Act besides others," the bench said in its order.Advertisement
The court ordered that the Member Secretary of State Legal Services Authority will be a member of the committee to be set up by the chairperson of the NHRC and a representative from the State Human Rights Commission, West Bengal be also associated in it.
The bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justices I P Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Subrata Talukdar, observed that in a case 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.Advertisement
Noting that the complaints required immediate action, the bench said "somehow from the facts as are available on record and are sought to be projected by the petitioners, such an action is missing."
"It is the duty of the state to maintain law and order in the state and inspire confidence in the residents of the state," the bench observed.Advertisement
The bench said that complaints with regard to post-poll violence received by the West Bengal State Legal Services Authority (WBSLSA) have been tabulated in six different categories.
The member secretary of WBSLSA further mentioned that in a number of cases the complaints were referred to the concerned superintendent of police or the police stations but no response has been received.
Observing that the exercise of filing of affidavit and counter affidavit will continue, the bench said "it may not lead us anywhere because the 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."