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Law & Judiciary

The Calcutta High Court orders the removal of unauthorised structures on Tagore's property

The Hawk
November22/ 2022

Kolkata (The Hawk): The Calcutta High Court on Monday ordered the destruction of all illegal structures in the Jorasanko Campus of the famed Rabindra Bharati University (RBU), including an office of West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress affiliate.

The court ordered that the complex be "completely invasion free" within three weeks. Jorasanko Campus is also known as Jorasanko Thakurbari, which is the ancestral home of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj of the Calcutta High Court's division bench directed the Kolkata Police and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation's (KMC) Heritage Conservation Committee to fully cooperate with RBU authorities on this case.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was recently filed at the Calcutta High Court alleging that a portion of the Grade-I Heritage Jorasanko Thakurbari was tampered with, and two rooms in that portion that had not been used for a long time were demolished, and an office of a Trinamool Congress-affiliated unit - Shikshabondhu Samiti - was set up there.

Rajib Chakraborty, the petitioner, stated that the way a piece of the heritage structure was tampered with to set up the office of a political organisation was completely illegal. The petitioner also questioned whether a heritage structure may be exploited for political objectives.

"How can such a political office operate within a heritage structure?" asked Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava.

Following that, the bench ordered the demolition of all unauthorised structures within the heritage structure over the next three weeks.

The court also asked the KMC's heritage conservation committee to locate the portion within the structure that was altered for the construction of the party office and then restore it to its former state.

(Inputs from Agencies)