The Calcutta High Court on Monday refused to recall its order asking the National Human Rights Commission to form a committee to examine complaints related to the violence that took place in West Bengal after the Assembly elections in May, Live Law reported.
The West Bengal government had urged the court to recall or modify the order issued by the High Court on June 18. The government argued that it was not given a copy of the report based on which the court had passed the order.
The report, prepared by the West Bengal State Legal Services Authority, was about the rehabilitation of people displaced because of the violence.
During Monday’s hearing, the judges said they did not have faith in the West Bengal government. “There were allegations that the police is not taking action and that is why we had to involve NHRC,” Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Binal said. “You have not put on record a single complaint received by you. Your conduct in this case does not inspire confidence of this court.”
The court noted that the National Human Rights Commission had received more than 500 complaints related to the violence, while the state government said it had not received any. “How is it possible?” the court asked Advocate General Kishore Datta, representing the West Bengal government. “This is lethargy on part of the state.”
Datta asked for more time to inform the court about the steps the government was taking to fix the situation.
The court refused to grant time. “Such a serious case and you have failed to take instructions?” it said. “No, we cannot allow this.”
Last week, the Calcutta High Court had said that the state government did not even respond to some complaints filed by those displaced due to the violence.
“In a case like where the allegation is that life and property of the residents of the state is in danger on account of alleged post poll violence, the state cannot be allowed to proceed in the manner it likes,” the court had said, according to Live Law.
West Bengal had witnessed a spell of incidents of violence following election results on May 2. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the ruling Trinamool Congress blamed each other for the deaths of multiple party workers. Various news reports put the toll between 11 and 14, but the police did not confirm the numbers.
Petitions have also been filed in the Supreme courts for an independent inquiry into the violence. The petitioners alleged that 18 political activists died, women were sexually assaulted and there were incidents of loot, arson and destruction owing to the indifference of the state government. They sought the deployment of central forces to restore law and order in the state and setting up of a fast-track court.
The petitioners also accused the West Bengal government and the police of inaction and even complicity in the violence. They sought rehabilitation and compensation for those displaced by the violence.
On June 14, the state government told the Supreme Court that the petitions were misleading and politically motivated. It also refuted accusations of inaction.