Don’t enforce Amartya Sen’s eviction order till the District Judge rules on the stay application: Calcutta High Court to Visva Bharati

The single-judge bench consisting of Justice Bibhas Ranjan De Calcutta High Court in the case of Amartya Kumar Sen Vs Estate Officer and Joint Registrar, Visva Bharati and Ors awarded interim relief to Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Thursday, prohibiting Visva Bharati University from acting on its decision ordering him to leave a portion of land at his Shantiniketan property, Pratichi.

Facts of the Case:

Sen had petitioned the High Court for interim relief after the university’s Joint Registrar and Estate Officer issued an order requiring him to evacuate 0.13 acres (5,500 square feet) of land at his ancestral home by May 6. Sen claimed in his appeal that in October 1943, the then-general secretary of Visva-Bharati University, Rathindranath Tagore, gave 1.38 acres of property to his father, Ashutosh Sen, for a 99-year lease.  “But recently, some untoward incidents started to happen in the locality and the petitioner being a prominent citizen of the country and Nobel Laureate made a certain comment concerning the deteriorating condition of the Visa Bharati University, as has been seen by him along in the past and that the aforesaid comments were not made for the purpose of causing any harm but realization of fact which the petitioner perceived over the passage of time and was unintentional, without malice and was expressed under the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech…,” he said in the plea.  The Nobel laureate had previously moved a court in Birbhum, Suri against the eviction notice, but the court set May 15 as the date for the hearing, well after the university’s deadline to vacate the land.


Justice Bibhas Ranjan De allowed an application seeking an interim stay on the decision until a lower court at Suri in Birbhum district, where the stay application is currently pending, hears the matter.

Click here to view the judgment

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