‘Calling upon political functionaries to lend support to an act which is ex facie illegal aggravates the malice and is evidence of the premeditated nature of the act thereof’ : Calcutta HC
The single judge bench consisting of Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya of the Calcutta High Court on Thursday in the case of Arabinda Das v. State of West Bengal (WPA 9482 of 2023) imposed a cost of Rs. 80,000 on State authorities for demolishing a private structure without complying with the statutory provisions of the West Bengal Public Land (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1962 and disregarding the pending judicial proceeding before the High Court.
Facts of the Case:
On April 18, the petitioners filed the writ petition. On April 17 and 18, a notice was served on the State respondents. The petitioners also informed the respondents of the matter being discussed at 2 p.m. on April 19. The petitioners’ structure, however, was demolished on April 19 by the BDO, Murshidabad, in accordance with the impugned order dated March 29, 2023, which bore the date March 21, 2023.
“The facts which were brought to the Court’s notice today are entirely different and disturbing to say the least.”, the Court said. The court observed that the State authorities had acted in complete violation of the legal rights of the petitioners who have approached the Court for redress and also in blatant violation of the procedure mandated under the 1962 Act. “Calling upon political functionaries to lend support to an act which is ex facie illegal aggravates the malice and is evidence of the premeditated nature of the act thereof. The State respondents have disregarded a pending judicial proceeding and have sought to frustrate the same. The respondents have sought to out-manoeuvre and overreach the Court and must therefore pay –literally for their conduct,” said the court. Thus, the court directed the State respondents to pay a sum of Rs. 80,000/- to the petitioners by 12 PM, April 21.
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JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY DIVYA SHREE GN