Calcutta HC orders demolition of illegal constructions in Tagore’s residence

The Calcutta High Court on Monday ordered demolition of all illegal constructions, including an office of West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress’ affiliate, in the Jorasanko Campus of the prestigious Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) here.

The court ordered to make the complex “totally encroachment free within the next three weeks”. Jorasanko Campus is widely popular as Jorasanko Thakurbari — the ancestral residence of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

The division bench of Calcutta High Court’s Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj asked the Kolkata Police and Heritage Conservation Committee of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to extend full cooperation to the RBU authorities on this matter.

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

The petitioner, Rajib Chakraborty claimed that the manner in which a portion of the heritage building was tampered with to set up the office of a political outfit was totally illegal. The petitioner also questioned whether a heritage structure can be used to serve the purposes of a political outfit.

“How can such an office of a political outfit run within a heritage structure?” questioned Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava.

Thereafter, the bench directed demolition of all illegal constructions within the heritage structure within the next three week.

The bench also directed the KMC’s heritage conservation committee to identify the area within the structure that was tampered with for construction of the party office and then restore the same in the original condition.




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