Calcutta High Court to hear PIL everyday

Deepak Prahladka

Kolkata, Nov. 25 -- There is bad news for the state government. The newly appointed acting chief justice (ACJ) Pratap Kumar Ray has decided to hear public interest litigation (PIL) and environmental petitions every day to clear the backlog of about 600 PILs which have been pending for years.

The PILs had been filed against the inaction, abuse or misuse of powers of the state authorities. From November 26, the ACJ bench will hear ten PILs, which are pending for admission, on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 2pm.

On Thursday from 2pm and entire Friday will be devoted for the PILs.

The backlog of PILs began during the tenure of the then chief justice S.S. Nijjar, who had taken charge in May 2007 and was transferred to the Supreme Court in October 2009. The situation worsened during the tenure of the recently retired chief justice J.N. Patel, who had taken charge in June 2010.

About 450 PILs and environmental petitions were filed Patel's tenure when they were never taken up. A batch of PILs filed by the environmentalist Subhas Datta, who personally argues his case, remained pending as the then chief justice Patel declined to hear any petition in which any party was appearing in person.

Welcoming the decision of ACJ, Datta said: "A PIL is filed in the interest of the public at large. Therefore, it should be heard on priority basis otherwise it becomes ineffective."

Although ACJ Ray has a brief tenure till January 8, 2013, when he is scheduled to retire, but his decision to hear PILs every day is likely to be followed by his successor.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee advised newly graduates of the state to start their own business instead of waiting for 'ideal placements' once they complete their academic education. During her speech at the inaugural ceremony of Micro and Small Scale Enterprises & Textiles Fair at Milan Mela complex on Saturday, she said young graduates should start their own business after passing out from colleges.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.