Calcutta HC drops suo motu contempt proceedings against a DM following his apology

Unlock: Calcutta High Court reopens doors after over two months- The New  Indian Express

The Calcutta High Court ‘reminded’ a District Magistrate that his official duty is for service of the citizens and exhorted him to steer clear of politically-motivated arbitrariness and unreasonableness while hearing the Biswanath Chowdhury v. The Chairman, National Council for Teachers Education & Others Case, reports Bar and Bench. After the District Magistrate concerned tendered an unqualified apology in the  Court, the Division Bench wished him well and dropped the contempt of court proceedings initiated against him. The Court had instituted contempt proceedings against the official for his failure to conduct a fact-finding visit and submit a report in terms of a previous court order. “Since Mr. Kadyan has a long career, the court wishes him well but reminds him that his obligation every step of the way in his official capacity is to the citizen and to steer clear of the road of unfairness, unreasonableness and arbitrariness, particularly, at the behest of the political executive,” the order said.The Division Bench comprising  Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Hiranmay Bhattarcharyya 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 norms. 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. In order to ascertain how the premises were actually being utilised, 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, the Court had ordered. Recording its satisfaction with the report, the Court directed the petitioner to obtain copies of the report and the photographs from the government advocate. The Court then proceeded to post the matter for hearing on December 21.image courtesy :New Indian Express

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