Calcutta high court dismisses Mamata govt’s plea, NHRC to probe post-poll violence

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In a setback for the Mamata Banerjee government, the Calcutta high court on Monday rejected its plea for recalling the order that directed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate post-poll violence in the state. The high court on June 18 had directed the chairperson of the NHRC to form a panel for examining all cases of alleged human rights violations during post-poll violence.

A five-judge bench of the high court dismissed the plea 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. The state government had moved the HC urging it to recall or modify its order directing the NHRC chairperson to form a committee to probe post-poll violence complaints and report back to the court, with details including that of offenders and officers who didn’t act. The state had also pleaded in court for remarks made against it to be “expunged” from the order.

The petition by Bengal home secretary B P Gopalika had said the state government should be given a chance to probe and report on the list of 3,423 complaints provided to HC by West Bengal Legal Services Authority (WBLSA) on June 10. The government further said that allegations that police superintendents didn’t act on many such complaints needed to be verified.
In its petition, the state said that it “did not get any opportunity to peruse the report or to look into the complaints mentioned in the report of the WBLSA and verify the allegations made in the complaints as referred to in such report and assist this hon’ble court.”

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