In a group of petitions filed after assembly polls in West Bengal alleging large scale violence in West Bengal and that the response from the state is slow and in some cases no response for the complaints given the Hon’ble court directed the police authorities to register cases which are reported to it or through National Human Rights Commission (hereinafter referred to as “NHRC”).
Considering the seriousness of the incidents Hon’ble Calcutta High Court requested the NHRC to constitute a committee to examine all the cases and submit a report to this Hon’ble court. Accordingly, the committee was constituted by the NHRC and submitted an interim report.
Based on the interim report the Hon’ble bench comprising of Hon’ble Justices Rajesh Bindal, I.P. Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen, Subrata Talukdar observed that “From a perusal of the report prima facie stand taken by the petitioners in the present case is established that there had been post-poll violence and the state was found on a wrong foot, although throughout it was on a denial mode”
Further, the Hon’ble bench noted that “In violence, number of persons were killed. Many suffered sexual violence and grievous injuries. Even minor girls were not spared. They have been brutally assaulted sexually.”
Pertinent to note the Hon’ble bench raised serious concerns regarding police action against the complaints of the victims that “The complaints of most of them were not recorded by the police or cross cases were forced against them. Moreover, In some cases of heinous crimes the complaints were registered only after this Hon’ble Court had taken cognizance of the matter”
Moreover, the Hon’ble court expressed that ” the state has been throughout denied that there were no complaints received regarding violence but when the opportunity was given to the complainants to file complaints with the SLRC or the NHRC were flooded with complaints.”
Following the interim report of the NHRC the Hon’ble bench issued the following directions :
- Firstly, the police are directed to register cases in all matters which have either been reported to it or have been placed before the NHRC or any other authority/Commission. Further, statements of the victims recorded under section 164 Code of criminal procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as “Cr. P.C”) are to be recorded immediately.
- The State shall make all arrangements for medical treatment of all who have been injured in the violence, post assembly elections
- Supply of rations to the persons suffered due to violence is to be ensured to the persons, even if they have lost their ration cards.
- The state is directed to place complete details of the cases in which the accused were arrested and have been enlarged on bail by the courts before the committee.
- The state is directed to furnish whatever information has been asked for by the committee immediately.
- The second autopsy of Abhijit Sarkar, Vice President of Bhartiya Mazdoor Trade Union Council in district Kolkata, be got done by a team of doctors to be constituted by the head of the Hospital at Command Hospital, Kolkata.
- Lastly, All the central agencies and service providers of various services assist the committee and provide the requisite information wherever required, to the extent permissible in law.