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Major Setback for West Bengal Govt, Calcutta HC Turns Down Request to Recall or Modify Order on NHRC Probe

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In a major setback for the West Bengal government, the Calcutta High Court has turned down its request to recall or modify its directive where it has asked the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to examine all cases of alleged human rights violations cases during the post-poll violence in the State.

The petition requesting to recall or modify Court’s order was submitted by West Bengal Home Secretary B P Gopalika on June 20.

She requested the Calcutta High Court that the State government should be given a chance to inquire into nearly 3,423 allegations provided by the West Bengal Legal Services Authority (WBLSA) on June 10.

The State Home Department also stressed that the allegations of police ‘inaction’ against complaints needed to be verified.

However, a five-judge bench headed by acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, while rejecting the plea, mentioned that they have asked the NHRC to examine all the post-poll violence because they felt that the State government has failed to convince the Court that they have seriously acted against the allegations.

Earlier, the bench had passed the order (asking NHRC to examine all the post-poll violence) based on the note of the Member Secretary of West Bengal State Legal Services Authority (WBSLSA) which said that 3,243 persons were reportedly affected (in the violence) till noon of June 10.

While submitting the report, the Member Secretary of WBSLSA also mentioned that the complaints of the post-poll violence were referred to the concerned district police officers but no response was received.

The other judges on the bench comprise Justice Soumen Sen, Justice Subrata Talukdar, Justice Indra Prasanna Mukerji and Justice Harish Tandon.

The Bench has directed the NHRC’s Chairperson to constitute a committee while including one member each from the State Legal Service Authority and State Human Rights Commission to examine the matter.

Recently the West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar met the Chairperson of the NHRC, Arun Mishra reportedly ‘to address post-poll violence’ in the State.

Both Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Left Front condemned the move and claimed it as an ‘unprecedented act’ by any constitutional head of the State.

Both the party leaders alleged that the Governor is acting like a BJP party worker. “The Governor should be removed immediately for creating an unwarranted hurdle before the elected government in West Bengal and for maligning the image of the State,” TMC MP, Sukhendu Shekhar Roy had said.

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