The West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) has set a two-week deadline ending on May 3 to act on its recommendations in connection with the arrest of Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and his neighbour Subrata Sengupta for forwarding an e-mail containing graphics of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“The State government has sought an additional eight weeks to act as per WBHRC recommendations on April 8. The Commission has allowed an additional two weeks with effect from April 19, 2013 as the last time to act on its recommendations,” joint secretary of the Commission Sujay Kumar Haldar told The Hindu here on Monday.
According to WBHRC officials, it has already allowed an additional six weeks to the State government to act on its recommendations on March 4, 2013.
Welcoming the decision to set a deadline, Prof. Mahapatra said the government’s stand on the entire matter will become public by May 3.
“It is surprising that the State government still needs time to act on an incident that happened a year ago. The WBHRC had already given its recommendations about seven months ago in August 2012,” he said.
Prof. Mahapatra and his neighbour were arrested on April 12, 2012 and were forced to spend a night in police custody. Charged under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act (2000) by the city police, they will be tried before a city court.
In its recommendations, the WBHRC had directed the government to compensate both Prof. Mahapatra and Mr. Sengupta with Rs. 50,000 each.