On June 21, Calcutta High Court rejected the Mamata Banerjee government’s plea to recall the order directing the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate post-poll violence in the state of West Bengal. On June 18, the court had directed the chairperson of NHRC to form a panel to examine the cases of alleged human rights violation during post-poll violence.
BREAKING: #CalcuttaHighCourt refuses to recall or stay its order directing @India_NHRC to constitute a committee for examining complaints filed by persons displaced during #postpollviolence in #WestBengal pic.twitter.com/APYHXLWwXg— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) June 21, 2021
West Bengal government had applied to the court to recall the order passed by the court while hearing a bunch of PILs alleging physical assault, destruction of property, sexual assault, displacement of people from their residence, murders, and ransacking of houses and places of business during post-poll violence in the state. A five-judge bench rejected the state’s plea clearing the way for NHRC to form a committee and investigate the cases.
In its plea, the state government had urged the High Court to recall or modify the order of formation of a committee to probe the complaints and report back to the court. The court had asked NHRC to include the details of the offenders and officers who did not act on the complaints against the offenders. The state also requested the court to expunge the remarks it made against the state.
Home Secretary B P Gopalika said in the petition that the state government should get a chance to probe and report on 3,423 complaints provided to the High Court by the West Bengal Legal Services Authority of June 10. The government further mentioned in the plea that the allegations made against the Superintendents of Police that they did not act on many complaints need to be verified.
The state said, “[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.”
Post poll violence in West Bengal
During post-poll violence, over two dozen BJP karyakartas were reportedly killed. In a report submitted by the Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA), it was mentioned that those who suffered the wrath of TMC workers after winning the elections were from marginal sections of Hindu society who had voted for BJP. They said, “The victims primarily belong to the very marginal sections of Hindu society which have voted for the BJP in the assembly elections. The report says, “The main modus operandi of the TMC is to debilitate political opponents by targeting their bodies, economic resources and their psychological wellbeing. This involves physical and sexual attacks, destruction of living spaces, property and means of production however small they are.”