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Calcutta HC asks Bengal govt to file affidavit on NHRC report

Matter to be taken up for hearing again on July 28
Calcutta High Court.
Calcutta High Court.
File picture

Our Bureau, PTI   |   Calcutta   |   Published 22.07.21, 05:01 PM

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the Bengal government to file an affidavit stating its position on the NHRC report on post-poll violence in the state.

A five-judge bench hearing a clutch of PILs alleging that people were subjected to assault, made to flee homes and property were destroyed as a result of post-poll violence in Bengal, asked the state government to file its affidavit by July 26.

The matter will be taken up for hearing again on July 28.

In an indictment of the Mamata Banerjee government, the NHRC inquiry committee report had said the situation in the state is a manifestation of "Law of Ruler" instead of "Rule of Law".

The seven-member committee, which submitted its report before the high court on July 13, recommended that investigation in grievous offences like murder and rape be handed over to the CBI, and these cases should be tried outside the state.

Appearing for one of the respondents, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi claimed there were irregularities in the NHRC report and that it contained allegations of crime that preceded the date of declaration of Bengal Assembly election results on May 2.

He also alleged that the report smacked of political consideration.

Representing one of the petitioners, senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani submitted that the NHRC report reflected the true law and order situation in Bengal.

He urged the bench, presided by Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, to hand over the investigation into heinous crimes like murder and rape to an independent investigating agency for an impartial probe.

The National Human Rights Commission, in its report, had also talked about "retributive violence" by supporters of the ruling party against those of the main opposition party.

Criticising the NHRC observations, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of "using impartial agencies to settle political scores" and "malign" the state.

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