‘Assurance no longer relies on the court’, the state pushed back into post-vote violence

#Kolkata: The pressure increased on Mamata Banerjee’s government. The state government had moved a larger bench seeking reconsideration of the Calcutta High Court’s order on post-poll unrest. But on that day, the five-judge bench of the High Court dismissed the petition. The High Court directed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to submit a report and investigate the post-poll unrest. Following that directive on June 16, the state approached the larger bench with a petition for reconsideration. But it did not benefit the state. As per the order, the larger bench has clearly stated that the order dated 18th will remain in force.

Not only that, Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal strongly rebuked the state government for filing a petition for reconsideration. At the beginning of the hearing, the state court submitted a list of what measures the state government has taken in the wake of the post-poll violence, and how many have been repatriated. Hearing that, the Chief Justice said, ‘I don’t want a report now. The nature of the investigation is not at all satisfactory. The police did not file an FIR. No action was taken by the state government on its own initiative. Why so much secrecy about violence? The court does not trust the assurance of the state. The previous instructions are being maintained.

After the hearing last Friday, the court criticized the state government for the post-vote unrest and asked the representatives of the National Human Rights Commission to come to the state to look into the situation. Several people, including Priyanka Tibrewal, the defeated BJP candidate from Antalya, have filed a case in the Calcutta High Court alleging post-poll unrest. The cases were heard together in a bench of the Acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court on Friday. And that is why the Chief Justice rebuked the state. The Acting Chief Justice further said that torture is not only being done physically, it should be kept in mind that while depriving people of job opportunities, their basic rights are being taken away.

Earlier, the Calcutta High Court had constituted a three-member committee to repatriate the homeless after the vote in Antalya. That committee included members of the National and State Human Rights Commissions and a representative of the State Legal Services Authority. The report of that committee was also submitted to the court on the same day. After that, the Chief Justice also asked the National Human Rights Commission to inspect various areas of the state on the spot. The state government had filed a petition seeking reconsideration of the verdict. But the Calcutta High Court dismissed it on that day.

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