The Union Home Ministry told the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday that a team from the ministry is prepared to visit West Bengal to inspect the COVID-19 situation in the state.
Hearing a writ petition alleging mismanagement of COVID-19 situation in the state, the high court said that if any team from the Ministry of Home Affairs visits this state, the same shall be on its own volition and not pursuant to any order of the court.
The court directed the Union Home Ministry and the West Bengal government to file reports on averments made in a writ petition alleging mismanagement of the COVID-19 situation in the state by the administration.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice T B N Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee directed that the reports be placed before it on or before the next date of hearing on May 26.
Petitioner Kabir Shankar Bose alleged in the writ petition that the COVID-19 situation has been mismanaged by the state administration in West Bengal.
Y J Dastoor, senior advocate appearing for the Ministry of Home Affairs, submitted that a team from the Ministry is prepared to visit West Bengal, inspect the situation and file a report before the court.
Opposing him, state Advocate General Kishore Dutta submitted that earlier a central team had visited West Bengal and had spent several weeks inspecting various areas and that sufficient materials were gathered by that team.
He submitted that no further visit by any central team is necessary and that any further visit by a central team would, in effect, be a roving inquiry only to find fault with the state administration, if possible.
In response, Dastoor submitted that the earlier central team was an inter-ministerial team and now it will be a team consisting of members from the Ministry of Home Affairs only.
The division bench directed that since the Ministry of Home Affairs offered to file a report in response to the claims made in the writ petition, "let such a report be filed on or before the next date of hearing."
The state government shall also file a report in response to the averments made in the writ petition.
"We clarify that if any team from the Ministry of Home Affairs visits this State, the same shall be on its own volition and not pursuant to any order of this Court," the division bench said.
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