May 5, 2023
DHAKA – The Calcutta High Court yesterday gave an interim stay against a move by Visva Bharati University to evict Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen from a part of land allegedly illegally occupied by him at his house in Santiniketan.
The ruling was given by Justice Bibhas Ranjan De.
Economist Amartya Sen moved the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday seeking the interim relief as the university had passed an order directing him to vacate 0.13 acres (5,500 sq ft) of land at his ancestral Santiniketan residence by May 6.
Amartya Sen had earlier moved a court in Suri near Santiniketan against the eviction notice but the court set May 15 as the date of hearing, well after the university’s deadline to vacate the land.
The Visva Bharati claimed that the land is under the “illegal occupation” of the economist and had said it would evict him if he failed to vacate it within the deadline.
In his petition, the economist argued that in October 1943, the then Visva Bharati general secretary Rathindranath Tagore had given 1.38 acre of land for a lease of 99 years to Amartya’s father Ashutosh Sen who later built the house ‘Pratichi’ in Santiniketan.
Sen has been the holder of the land after the death of his parents. Currently in the US, he is expected to return to Santiniketan in June.