Calcutta HC grants time to WB Govt to submit Supplementary Affidavit to NHRC report

Deepali Kalia-

On 28th July, the Calcutta High Court upon the West Bengal Government’s request granted the State time to file a supplementary affidavit by July 31st in response to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) committee report.

However, during the hearing the Five Judge Bench consisting of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justices Subrata Talukdar, I.P Mukerji, Harish Tandon, and Soumen Sen clarified that no further extensions will be given and adjourned the matter to 2nd August.

Advocate General Kishore Datta informed the Bench that the State on July 26th had received a 951 pages document from the NHRC comprising of additional complaints from victims. Hence, the State had sought time to file the supplementary affidavit in this regard.

The DNA report of Abjijit Sarkar, the deceased BJP worker, which was filed through Additional Solicitor General Y.J Dastoor was also taken on record by the Five Judge Bench.

When Advocate General had pleaded for the adjournment of the matter, Advocate Priyanka Tibrewal, who was appearing on behalf of one of the petitioners, strongly objected and said, “The victims will end up withdrawing their complaints if the matter is further delayed. There is also continuance of violence in West Bengal.”

Similar objections were echoed by Senior Counsel Mahesh Jethmalani, who was appearing for another petitioner in the case.

“Your Lorships know that extension of time leads to disappearance of evidence. The police is complicit in this matter“, Jethmalani said.

The Senior Council also contended that a comprehensive reply has already been filed by the State to the NHRC report and in order to seek time for filing the supplementary affidavit, the reasonable cause must be shown.

On Advocate Priyanka Tibrewal’s assertion that victims were being repeatedly threatened to withdraw their complaints, the Bench asked, “Has an FIR been lodged complaining that the police authorities are threatening the victims? Is something on record?”

When Advocate Tibrewal replied in negative the Bench stated that it would not entertain objections to adjournment unless urgency is demonstrated by the filing of requisite FIRs.

Also Read: Calcutta High Court to Examine Report submitted by NHRC

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