Published: 04th May 2023
Calcutta High Court stays Visva-Bharati's eviction notice against Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen
The dispute over the 13 decimals of land started when the vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati University, Bidyut Chakraborty started accusing Sen of illegally occupying 1.38 acres of land
On Thursday, May 4, a single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court halted the eviction notice that the Visva-Bharati University authorities had served to Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen in relation to a disagreement over 13 decimals of land that he occupies. Justice Bibhas Ranjan De, who presided over the case, stated the university authorities would be unable to take any action regarding the disputed land until the ongoing case at the district court in Suri, Birbhum district has been resolved, as stated in a report by IANS.
Further, the hearing in the matter at the district court is scheduled on May 10. To recall how this started, on April 2023, the Visva-Bharati University authorities issued an eviction notice asking the globally acclaimed economist to vacate the 'disputed' 13 decimals of land by May 6. Sen is currently in the US. Following this, on April 28, Sen's counsel Gorachand Chakraborty informed media persons that an appeal against the eviction notice has already been filed at the district court of Suri in Birbhum district.
The dispute over the 13 decimals of land started when the vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati University, Bidyut Chakraborty started accusing Sen of illegally occupying 1.38 acres of land which is in excess of his legal entitlement of 1.25 acres, as per a report by IANS.
However, the Nobel laureate refuted the allegation claiming the original 1.25 acres was gifted to his grandfather late Kshitimohan Sen who was the second vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati University. Later, Sen's father late Asutosh Sen, who was also a professor with the same university, purchased the remaining 13 decimals of land, which is at the centre of the dispute.
Recently, the West Bengal government transferred leasehold rights of the entire 1.38 acres of land to Sen to thwart any eviction attempt by the university authorities. Moreover, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also launched a scathing attack against the university authorities and even threatened to stage a sit-in demonstration in front of Sen's residence if there is any attempt to forcefully impose the eviction.