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Since 1st March, 1999
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The City Diary

PIL over Tantuja ‘malpractice’

A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in Calcutta High Court on Friday by Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties, a city-based social organisation, alleging malpractice and misuse of funds by the management of the West Bengal Handloom Weavers’ Co-operative Society Limited, commonly known as Tantuja, a state-run unit. A division bench of Chief Justice A.K. Mathur and Justice Girish Gupta admitted the petition and directed the Tantuja authorities to file an affidavit. The case will be heard after five weeks. The petitioner’s counsel Subodh Ukil told the court that corruption, mismanagement and misuse of power and money by the management had created chaos and the department was on the verge of ruin. The management was allegedly diversifying contracts and awarding tenders to a co-operative society that did not exist. The petitioners asked the court to intervene for the sake of 1,065 employees and nearly two lakh weavers of the state. Appearing for Tantuja, L. Gupta argued that the petition was not maintainable as the petitioner was “not directly connected with the accused society”.

Robbery bid at municipality

Four armed robbers stormed the office of Baranagar Municipality, on the northern fringes of the city, on Friday night. However, they fled after residents came rushing in. Four municipality offices of North 24-Parganas have been looted in the past six months.

Demolition drive

Bidhannagar Municipality on Friday conducted a drive to demolish unauthorised extensions of buildings in Salt Lake. Illegal extensions in six buildings were demolished, executive officer of the municipality, Baidyanath Mondal said.

Corridor case

A public interest litigation has been filed in Calcutta High Court, seeking to restrain the Union of India from constructing the proposed east-west corridor in north Bengal. The suit, filed by Legal Aid Services, West Bengal, says the corridor will threaten a vast tract of forest land and much of the fauna. The petitioner on Friday sought an alternative route for the corridor and told the court that the West Bengal government, through its chief conservator of forests, had opposed the project. The east-west corridor, a six-lane highway, is coming up between Silchar, in Assam, and Porbandar, in Gujarat, with financial aid from the Asian Development Bank. Its construction, by the National Highway Authority of India, is halfway through.

Bail for MLA

Calcutta High Court granted bail to Congress MLA Hamidur Rahaman, who was arrested in connection with the murder of a CPM activist at Chopra, in North Dinajpur. A division bench of Justice N.A. Chowdhury and Justice A. Barua granted Rahaman’s plea but said he would have to turn up at a police station twice a week. The government did not oppose the bail prayer, arguing that Rahaman was a peoples’ representative and his presence was needed in the Assembly.

Bar president

Former MP Sardar Amjad Ali has been elected president of Calcutta High Court Bar Association for the next two years.

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TO Ruby General Hospital for organising a workshop on life-support system for ambulance drivers and attendants

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