The Calcutta High Court on Thursday passed an interim order to stay Visva Bharati University’s order directing Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen to vacate parts of a plot in Birbhum district’s Santiniketan by May 6, reported PTI.

The university has alleged that Sen had illegally occupied part of land on the university campus. In a notice sent on April 19, the university said that the central institution urgently needed to get control of encroachments and also needs to send a report to the Centre.

The Visva Bharati University had claimed that Sen is in possession of 1.38 acres of land in Birbhum’s Santiniketan in excess of his legal entitlement of 1.25 acres. It maintains that the additional plot of land is not part of his family-owned estate.

However, Sen had said that the land was leased to his family for 100 years and a portion of it had been bought by his father from the market following all rules and regulations.

The economist had moved the High Court after a lower court in Birbhum district of West Bengal had listed the matter for May 15, which was way after the deadline set by the university, reported PTI. The single bench of Justice Bibhas Ranjan De passed interim stay in the matter till it is heard before the lower court in Birbhum district.

Notably, Sen has been vocal in his criticism of policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government in recent years. On January 15, he had said that implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act could reduce the role of minorities in the country, while encouraging majoritarian forces.

On Wednesday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had asked state ministers to begin a sit-in outside Sen’s residence to protest against the eviction notice, reported PTI. The Trinamool Congress chief had asked Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister and Bolpur MLA Chandranath Sinha to lead the protest.