'Why shouldn't you be evicted from varisty land?' Visva Bharati's notice to Amartya Sen
Kolkata/IBNS: The authorities of the Centrally run university Visva Bharati, located in West Bengal's Santiniketan, have issued a notice of eviction to Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, stating that the economist has occupied a portion of land illegally.
The letter was sent to Sen’s residence ‘Pratichi’. Sen or any of his representatives have been asked to be present at the conference hall of the university’s Central Admission Building on March 29 for a hearing.
The letter claims that Sen occupied 13 decimals of Visva Bharati's land in an unauthorised manner and was asked to present his case why he couldn’t be evicted from the land in accordance with the law.
The letter stated, “In pursuance of sub-section (1) of Section 4 of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971, I hereby call upon you to show cause on or before the 24th March 2023 why an order of eviction should not be made against you in respect of the public premises mentioned in the schedule below”.
The letter also read, “Also, in pursuance of clause (b) (i) of sub-section (2) of Section 4 of the said Act, I call upon you to appear before me in person or through a duly authorised representative capable to answer all material questions connected with the matter, along with the evidence which you intend to produce in support of the cause shown, on, 29th March 2023 at 4.45 p.m, in the Conference Hall of Central Adm'n Building, Visva-Bharati, for a personal hearing. In case, you or your authorised representative fails to appear on the said date and time, the case may be decided ex-parte”.
Amartya Sen’s father, Asutosh Sen, had acquired 125 decimals of land on lease from the varsity in 1943, its spokesperson Mahua Banerjee said.
The row over the land erupted in January 2021 when Visva Bharati Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty alleged that Amartya Sen's family was illegally holding land at the campus.
Responding to the notice, Amartya Sen's counsel Gorachand Chakraborty said, "Amartya Sen is now out of India. We haven't received any notice yet. There is no question of forcible possession of land. The record is in the name of Amartya Sen's father Ashutosh Sen. All will be clear only when the record is rectified."
He further said, "I can comment on our next step once we receive the said letter.”
Sen had countered the accusation, saying the plot of land was on a long-term lease.