Kolkata: Will the chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee be decorated with D.Litt., a higher doctorate degree, on Thursday, as planned months in advance by the University of Calcutta?
What stands in the way is a public interest litigation (PIL) filed at the Calcutta high court, challenging the university’s decision.
The PIL by two individuals was admitted last week, and is scheduled to be heard on Thursday, hours before the university is to confer the degree.
The PIL says it is improper for a state-funded university to confer such degrees on a person who can influence its decisions. Also, it claims such acts will lead to loss of credibility.
Among other grounds for opposition, the PIL says Banerjee had once declared to have completed Ph.D degree, but in March 1985, it was found that the University of East Georgia from which she claimed to have secured the degree did not even exist.
The University of Calcutta will wait to see if the court passes any interim order restraining it from conferring the degree so as to avoid embarrassment, said a key official, who asked not to be named. The day’s events will be accordingly rescheduled if required, this person added.