Monday, January 30, 2023

Plea in Supreme Court seeks President’s rule in West Bengal

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A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking President’s rule and deployment of Centre’s protection forces amid sudden violence which erupted in West Bengal after declaration of State Assembly election results.

Indic Collective Trust filed a PIL in Supreme Court seeking directions to Centre to deploy central protection forces, including armed forces, for the restoration of law and order in the State of West Bengal.

The plea has also stated that the constitutional machinery in the state of West Bengal has broken down and there it also sought the imposition of Presidential rule in the state.

The plea alleges that election related violence in the State began after the declaration of election results on May 2, 2021. Members and supporters of the opposing political parties have been brutally murdered, with their houses and personal property being destroyed. There have been instances of heinous crimes including bombing of localities, murders, and violations against the modesty of women, riotous looting, kidnapping, arson and destruction of public property.

The plea further alleges that State administration and the police authorities in the State have failed and/or neglected to clamp down on the unruly elements, thereby leading to institutionalized violence and destruction of the democratic fabric of the State.
Since the State administration has failed to restore peace and maintain law and order in the aftermath of the elections despite several pleas and numerous news reports

The plea seeks the following prayer:-
• Issue direction to the Union of India to deploy central protection forces, including armed forces, for the restoration of law and order in the State of West Bengal;
• Constitute a Special Investigation Team headed by a retired Hon’ble Justice of this Hon’ble Court to look into involvement of politicians, if any, in the targeted pogrom in West Bengal;
• Issue directions for immediate arrest of and prosecution against all individuals involved and/or responsible for the commission of heinous offences in the aftermath of the assembly elections;
• Issue directions for setting up and/or establishing a special court to adjudicate and dispose of matters pertaining to the prosecution of political miscreants and/or any individuals involved in the commission of heinous offences.
• Declare that the Constitutional machinery in the State of West Bengal has broken down within the meaning of Article 356 for further consideration by His Excellency the Hon’ble President of India.

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Indic Collective Trust has placed it reliance on the media reports in its petition and it has highlighted in its PIL that, “it has come across several disturbing news reports and articles which show that such heinous offences are specifically targeted towards members and supporters of the political parties that opposed the ruling party in the State election. It has been categorically reported that till May 3, 2021 more than ten political activists were killed and 9 numerous more were beaten up and/or injured. These instances have instilled unimaginable fear in the minds of the citizens who will now be apprehensive of exercising their fundamental right to free speech and expression against the ruling party. Such fear would lead to the death of democracy.”

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