The Calcutta High Court on December 23 directed the West Bengal government to remove all anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and anti-National Register of Citizens (NRC) advertisements from public platforms.
A division bench of Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice Radhakrishnan directed the state government to suspend the campaigns on CAA till the court gives its final orders.
The court also sought a detailed response from the state government about the petitioners' claim that campaign against the CAA was carried out using public money.
The bench, which has been hearing petitions on issues like state's campaign against the CAA in various forms of media, breakdown of law and order situation and damage to railway property, said the matter will be heard next on January 9.
Reacting to the development, Union Minister and BJP leader Babul Supriyo said if WB Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had "taken advice from few educated MPs & MLAs she has in her party about she (A CM) not having any authority, as per our constitution, to block an ACT that’s in the Central List & anyone other than Didi wud know that Citizenship is Centre’s prerogative".
Earlier, on December 22, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had accused Banerjee of wasting public money on the anti-CAA campaign. According to reports, he had demanded immediate withdrawal of the advertisements and had called them "unconstitutional".
"The government must act very very fast on that (the advertisement). I am sure the chief minister will at least withdraw those ads. They are absolutely unconstitutional. Impermissible. It is an atrociously criminal use of public funds," Dhankhar had said.
In the advertisements, reports suggest that Banerjee had said that the CAA and NRC won't be implemented in West Bengal. However, Dhankhar had reportedly said that since CAA has been passed in both the Houses of Parliament, opposing it was "unconstitutional" and could lead to "anarchy".
Banerjee had, on December 16, 'vowed' along with thousands of her party men to not allow the proposed country-wide NRC and the amended CAA in West Bengal.
"We will never allow NRC and CAA in Bengal," Banerjee had said as she read out an 'oath' for her party workers.
(With PTI inputs