On Monday, the West Bengal government told the Calcutta High Court that there was no post-poll violence in West Bengal after the recently conducted state elections which saw the Mamata Banerjee regime retaining power. The next hearing for all PILs regarding the WB post-poll violence in the Calcutta HC is scheduled for next Tuesday on May 18.
A five-judge Constitution bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justices IP Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen, and Subrata Talukdar was informed by WB Advocate General Kishor Datta that according to the state government, there were no instances of post-poll violence after May 9, 2021.
All of this comes in response to a petition in Calcutta HC which submits that post-poll violence led to the death of at least 11 persons, alleging serious dereliction of duty on the part of the police. Numerous PILs have been filed in the Calcutta HC in order to secure justice for people affected by post-election violence. All of these PILs will now be heard on May 18.
The WB Advocate General’s submission as to the lack of post-poll violence drew a sharp reaction from Additional Solicitor General (ASG) YJ Dastoor, who was representing the Central Government. Dastoor made it clear that multiple political parties had come out with statements in the media that their respective workers had suffered in the post-poll violence.
“There is no doubt of post poll violence (having occurred),” Dastoor submitted.
The ASG also informed the Court that the National Human Rights Commission, the State Human Rights Commission, State Commission for Women, and even the State Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Commission had received complaints from people who could not approach the police stations or their complaints were not registered.
Another petition relating to WB post-poll violence, filed by Advocate Rishav Singh, seeks various reliefs from the Calcutta HC against the WB government. In this petition, the petitioner seeks the registration of FIRs against culprits who engaged in post-poll violence, asking the WB govt to show cause for not registering FIRs.
The petition also seeks to restore the rights of reportedly 80,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) who fled away from their homes into neighboring states like Assam in order to escape the post-poll violence. The petition also seeks monetary compensation for the families of persons who have lost their lives in the post-poll carnage.
This petition, along with other related PILs, will be heard in Calcutta HC on May 18, 2021.