Visva Bharathi

WB: State government transfers lease rights to Amartya Sen

March 21, 2023

Mita Mukherjee

The Bengal government on Monday transferred the leasehold rights of the entire 1.38 acre of land in Santiniketan in the name of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.

The state government’s move comes three days after  Visva-Bharati sent a show- cause eviction notice to the economist threatening his eviction from the property for occupying 13 decimals of the 1.38 acre plot where his home stands, without authorization.

The district magistrate of Birbhum district on Monday evening said according to a will probated in the name of Amartya Sen says, he has inherited the entire 1.38 acres of land . The rights of the entire plot have been transferred to Sen as the legal heir of his father Asutosh Sen, said Bidhan Ray, the district magistrate of Birbhum district.

The transfer has been made after verifying all the papers submitted by Sen. A hearing was also conducted in presence of Visva-Bharati authorities, he said. With the transfer of the land the question of “illegal” occupation of the 13 decimals of land which the university had been claiming will not arise, sources said.

The state government’s move to transfer the leasehold rights of the entire plot is significant as Visva-Bharati authorities on March 17 had issued a notice to Sen asking him to explain why an eviction notice would not be served to him for occupying 13 decimals of land without authorisation.

He was also asked to appear or authorise a person to appear on his behalf before the university estate officer Ashok Mahato for a hearing on March 29. The university had said that the show-cause eviction notice was issued under the provisions of the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Rules, 1971. The rules allow the central government or its organisations to evict unauthorised occupants from public land.  Visva-Bharati is a central university.

Visva-Bharati in January had sent three letters to Sen asking him to hand over the 13 decimals of the land that he was occupying without authorization in addition to the 1.25 acres which had been leased to his family.

Sen had denied the unauthorised occupation of any additional land.

Sen is now in the US and as the situation stands after the transfer of the leasehold rights, no one on his behalf will be required to appear on his behalf before the university, sources close to Sen’s family said.

Also Read: Visva-Bharati issues eviction show-cause notice to Amartya Sen

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