Calcutta High Court disposes of PIL seeking action against petitioner over loss of crops due to water embankment


The Calcutta High Court disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed seeking action to be taken on the representation given by the petitioner alleging that an embankment of water body is being cut and the consequences would be that there will be a loss of crops in more or less 10,000 bighas of land.

On a perusal of the representation dated 18.11.2019 , the Division Bench of Chief Justice T. S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hrranmay Bhattacharyya Find that several allegations have been made against various officers such as the Superintending Engineer, the Executive Engineer, the Sub-Divisional Officer etc. However, none of those persons though named in the representation have been impleaded as respondents in their personal capacity in the petition. Therefore, the bench cannot go into any such allegation made against the officers in their personal capacity. Be that as it may, if there is any destruction to the embankment, it is a serious matter.

The advocate for the petitioner has drawn the attention of the High Court to a communication sent by the Executive Engineer, Basirhat Irrigation Division to the Additional District Magistrate (Development), Barasat, North 24-Parganas wherein a direction has been issued to form a committee on urgent basis comprising of officials from general administration, police administration, assistant engineer from department and elected representatives to resolve the issue which has been pointed out by the petitioner . Thus, prima facie, it appears to the Court that there was certain illegal action taken to damage the river embankment.

Thus, considering the nature of grievance expressed, without going into the merits of the allegations made by the petitioner in the representation,the Bench directed the respondent to consider the representation given by the petitioner and conduct a site inspection and proceed to take action in accordance with law after issuing prior notice to all concerned.

In order to enable the respondent to comply with this direction, the Bench directed the petitioner to submit a fresh representation along with the copy of this order and the copy of the earlier representations and annexures and forward the same to the 5th respondent. The respondent is directed by the Bench to take expeditious steps in the matter after issuing notice to all concerned preferably within a period of 12 weeks from the date of receipt of the fresh representation directed to be submitted.