Honorary degree for Mamata generates controversy

Elias Hubbard
January 13, 2018

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a petition against Calcutta University's decision to award an honorary DLitt degree to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, according to media reports. At the acceptance speech, Mamata said, "Intolerance is rising in the country". On October 25 CU vice chancellor Sonali Chakraborti announced the D.Lit to be conferred to Ms Banerjee for her contribution in the field of arts, literature and social work.

Earlier on Oct 25 previous year, following a meeting of the university's Senate-Syndicate, CU's Vice-Chancellor (VC), Sonali Chakraborty Banerjee, announced to award Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with honourary D.Litt degree during the prestigious institute's convocation in south Kolkata's Nazrul Mancha.

"We have filed a PIL, challenging the decision of the university on several grounds of her ineligibility which we will place before the high court during the hearing", lawyer Shamim Ahmed said here today.

VC of North Bengal University has filed a PIL against the plans of Calcutta University.

On Wednesday, the Calcutta High Court division bench ruled, "Whether she (chief minister) is fit to be given the D.Litt will be dependent on the order of the court". The university is scheduled to confer the degree on Mamata on 11 January.

In 2007 Jyoti Basu was awarded Doctor of Law by CU when he had stepped down as chief minister in the last leg of the Left Front rule.

The former vice chancellor dismissed the West Bengal government's contention that the plea was politically motivated and without any basis. "The same people have made a decision to honour the chief minister with the honorary D.Litt", Ahmed claimed.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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