Amartya Sen vs Visva-Bharati: Lower court rules in favour of economist

In April 2023, Sen had approached the district court after the eviction notice was issued to him in a dispute over 13 decimals of land

File photo of Amartya Sen
File photo of Amartya Sen
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IANS

Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen on Wednesday won the first round of his legal battle against Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, with a district court in West Bengal's Birbhum dismissing the notice of eviction issued by the university authorities to Sen last year.

In April 2023, Sen had approached the district court after the eviction notice was issued to him in a dispute over 13 decimals of land within the university campus. The authorities claimed that the Nobel laureate economist was illegally occupying the portion of land.

Finally, the district court on Wednesday delivered its judgment in the matter and dismissed the eviction notice issued by the university. Until the time of filing this report, there was no reaction from Visva-Bharati authorities on the court order.

“We have won. Amartya Sen will not have to vacate the land. The court observed that the eviction notice against him lacks factual basis,” Sen’s counsel said after the order was passed.

In a nutshell, the dispute over the 13 decimals of land began when then Visva-Bharati University vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty began accusing Sen of illegally occupying 1.38 acres of land, which reportedly in excess of his legal entitlement of 1.25 acres.

However, Sen refuted the allegation, claiming that the original 1.25 acres were gifted to his grandfather, the late Kshitimohan Sen, who was the second VC of Visva-Bharati University.

Later, Sen's father the late Asutosh Sen, who was also a professor at the university, purchased the remaining 13 decimals of land, which is at the centre of the dispute.

The West Bengal government had recently transferred leasehold rights of the entire 1.38 acres of land to Sen to thwart any eviction attempt by the university authorities.

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