Darjeeling unrest: Calcutta High Court directs police to serve notice to GJM chief Bimal Gurung

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Friday directed that notice be served on the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung by all means possible in a PIL challenging the indefinite bandh called by the party in the Darjeeling hills.

A division bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborty, directed the Darjeeling superintendent of police to serve the notice personally on Gurung or send it to his office.

File image of GJM chief Bimal Gurung. Getty Images

File image of GJM chief Bimal Gurung. Getty Images

If any of these were not possible, the notice, along with a copy of the petition and Friday's order, be pasted on the walls of Gurung's office, it said.

The process should be videographed so as to ensure that the GJM president is represented in court in the matter, it said.

The bench had on 16 June directed the West Bengal government to ensure normal life in the restive Darjeeling hills, while reiterating earlier orders of the Supreme Court and the Calcutta High Court declaring bandhs illegal.

The court had last week directed that notice be served on Gurung, a respondent in the PIL.

But the petitioner and the state advocate general informed the bench that they were unable to serve the notice on Gurung.

"We have tried all means, but what we gather is the person is absconding," advocate general Kishore Dutta submitted.

He, however, said that the option of email could not be tried as Internet services were suspended in the hills.

Dutta, who wanted to file an 'informal' report on the losses to public and private property due to arson in Darjeeling since the violence began on 8 June, was directed to do so on 28 June in a sealed cover.

The court had last week directed the state government to file a report on the losses and steps taken to ensure normalcy in the hills.

The matter will be heard again on 30 June.

Updated Date: Jun 23, 2017 18:46 PM

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