Calcutta High Court ‘reminded’ a District Magistrate that his official duty lay in the service of the citizens irrespective of politically-motivated arbitrariness and unreasonableness:
The high court of Calcutta reminded’ a District Magistrate that his official duty lay in the service of the citizens exhorting him to steer clear of politically-motivated arbitrariness and unreasonableness.
The Division Bench of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Hiranmay Bhattacharyya was hearing a petition moved by one Biswanath Chowdhury who alleged that a law college was established in another educational institute in contravention with Bar Council of India norm.
He challenged the affiliation granted to the college by the Cooch-Behar University and the no-objection certificate granted by the State to the acquisition of land for the project.
While the petitioner alleged that an educational institute conferring B.Ed degrees was functioning in the same premises where the law college was supposed to function, some intervention applicants submitted during the previous hearing that their children attended a school in the building. They stated that “to their surprise“ the board of a law college was set up outside the school.
The court observed that In order to ascertain how the premises were actually being utilized, the Court ordered the District Magistrate to visit the premises and conduct an investigation. The petitioner would have to be given prior notice before one such visit so that he could be present during the investigation.
After the District Magistrate failed to conduct an investigation and file a report in terms of the Court’s order, the Court instituted suo motu contempt proceedings against the District Magistrate. During the hearing , the District Magistrate tendered an unconditional apology as well as a report prepared in terms of the Court’s order and dropped the contempt of court proceedings initiated against him.