Calcutta High Court Issued Notice To State: Why Should Those Who Were Injured During Panchayat Polls Not Be Given Compensation?

Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court in the case Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury v State of West Bengal &ors and connected applications observed and has directed the State for filing file an affidavit disclosing details of those who lost their lives during violence which erupted in course of the WB Panchayat Elections 2023, as well as the details of the family member of them to whom ex-gratia compensation and compassionate employment had been provided under the scheme of the State.
The court in the case directed the State to answer why those who were injured or grievously injured during the aforesaid violence were not given any compensation.
The Division bench comprising of CJ TS Sivagnanam, and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya in the case observed that the concern of the petitioner is that it being not clear as to how many persons have been given benefit of the aforesaid scheme. This court find that the persons who were injured, some grievously, during Panchayat poll violence, have not been compensated. Therefore, the court stated that the State shall disclose the following details: i) the names of deceased who died in any incident which relates to Panchayat elections 2023, ii) the names of all persons [given compassionate employment], iii) the names of people to whom Rs 2 lakh was given as ex-gratia being family members of those who died. Further, the said observations came came in continued hearings of writ petitions surrounding the violence that erupted during the West Bengal Panchayat Elections 2023.
The court in the case is also seized of contempt applications against the State and WB State Election Commission due to its alleged mismanagement of the election process, in violation of Court orders, which leads to large scale violence, and loss of life. Accordingly, the court listed the matter for further consideration on
September 26, 2023.