Plea against DLitt for CM

Ex-North Bengal varsity VC questions selection process

  • Published 9.01.18

Calcutta: A former North Bengal University vice-chancellor on Monday moved a public interest litigation in Calcutta High Court challenging Calcutta University's process of selecting candidates for this year's DLitt.

The university is scheduled to hold its convocation on January 11 and give the DLitt to chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Ranju Gopal Mukhopadhyay also sought an order restraining the university from giving Mamata the DLitt.

The division bench, headed by acting Chief Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya, fixed January 10 for hearing Ranju Gopal Mukhopadhyay's PIL.

Apart from the university, Mukhopadhyay has named the Bengal government and education minister Partha Chatterjee respondents in his PIL.

Moving the PIL, advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya said all universities had to follow certain guidelines while awarding a Doctor of Letters but Calcutta University had failed to do so.

"The university has selected a person of much controversy for awarding this year's DLitt," Bhattacharyya said.

"A controversial person cannot be honoured with this prestigious award. The issue has already created much confusion among the minds of general people.

"So, the court should hear the matter before January 11, the date fixed for the university convocation where the DLitt will be given."

Acting Chief Justice Bhattacharya asked him to file a proper PIL in the appropriate department of the court and assured him that he would hear the matter on January 10.

Bhattacharyya's assistant Sabyasachi Bhattacharya told journalists: "The petitioner raised some issues to substantiate his claim that the university had taken the decision to give the chief minister the DLitt under government influence.

"Mamata Banerjee had criticised the judiciary and made derogatory remarks against Calcutta High Court judges in 2014. The matter is still pending before this court."

The petitioner has claimed that there are many controversies over a doctorate degree the chief minister had got from a foreign country, he said. "She has failed to give a satisfactory reply on the matter to date. Moreover, the allegation by a former IAS officer is still unanswered. Since a case related to the matter is still pending, the university cannot select her as a candidate for the DLitt."