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Home > News > Report

WB appeals against HC Nandigram verdict

December 04, 2007 23:25 IST

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The West Bengal government on Tuesday filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court against the Calcutta High Court's recent judgment on the Nandigram [Images] violence.

The HC had sharply indicted the state for unjustified firing on innocent people in Nandigram on March 14.

The petition mainly harps on the argument that the High Court had on November 16, came to a premature conclusion on the alleged excess of the government without properly evaluating the evidence on record, said sources associated with the petition.

The petition has claimed that the High Court should not have passed strictures on a writ petition as it amounted to a pre-trial of the case.

Senior counsel and noted criminal lawyer K T S Tulsi is expected to appear on behalf of the state government.

On November 16, in a sharp indictment of the West Bengal government, the Calcutta High Court termed the March 14 police firing in Nandigram as wholly unconstitutional and unjustifiable, and directed the administration to compensate the families of each of the 14 victims with Rs five lakh.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, while rejecting the state government's arguments justifying the firing, directed that the CBI inquiry into it would continue and asked the agency to submit a report within a month.

Terming the firing as wholly indefensible, the court said the police action could not be protected and justified on grounds of sovereign immunity.

The court said it was justified in taking notice of the incident on the basis of newspaper reports and the statement by Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

In a statement after the March 14 firing, Gandhi had said that the incident had left him 'with a sense of cold horror.' Observing that the court had earlier issued interim directions to the state government on a number of occasions in the course of the hearing, the bench said it had been brought to its notice that the administration had 'miserably failed' to carry them out.

"Even in cases where the directions were implemented it was done in a manner, which resulted in little benefit to the segment of the population which was sought to be benefited," the 173-page order said and asked the government to implement its earlier directions.

It directed that a compensation of Rs 2 lakh should be given to those raped and Rs 1 lakh to the injured.

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