The observation made by the Calcutta High Court on the State government failing till now to implement the recommendations of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) in connection with Ambikesh Mahapatra’s arrest in April 2012 vindicates his stand, the Jadavpur University professor said on Friday. Prof. Mahapatra was arrested for forwarding an e-mail containing graphics of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
While hearing a public interest litigation petition relating to Prof. Mahapatra’s arrest, a Division Bench asked on Thursday what was the purpose of having a Commission if its recommendations were not implemented.
During the hearing, the court had also asked State government counsel whether he could cite an instance where a person had to approach a court because the State government had refused to implement the recommendations of a human rights commission.
“Even about six months after the WBHRC had recommended compensation to me and my neighbour — both arrested in April 2012 — the State government has not acted on it. I had asked the same question several times — about the purpose of having a Commission when the State government does not want to implement its recommendation,” Prof. Mahapatra told The Hindu.
Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, who appeared for the petitioner, said the court asked him to file a fresh petition as there had been new developments in the case.
In August, 2012, the WBHRC recommended compensation of Rs. 50,000 to both Prof. Mahapatra and his neighbour and also directed that the State government initiate action against the police officers involved in their arrest.
While the State government has so far not acted on the recommendations, charges against Prof. Mahapatra under Section 66A and 66B of the Information Technology (Amended) Act 2008 have been brought in the charge sheet filed by the city police in connection with the incident.