A group of lawyers Friday vandalised the court of the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court Justice Mohit S Shah protesting their forcible eviction by the police from a room in the court premises following a dispute over its allotment.
The incident made an unpleasant last day of Justice Shah as Chief Justice of Calcutta HC before his shift to the Bombay High Court.
"Some lawyers came in and vandalised the court room, breaking glass panes of the door and throwing around furniture," officials at the Chief Justice Mohit Shah's court room said.
A dispute over allotment of a court room to assistant court officers for using as their office by the Chief Justice led to a confrontation with the Bar Association.
Some 60 to 70 lawyers occupied the room last evening and refused to vacate despite several requests, the Chief Justice's office sources said.
Police were then called in and the lawyers were forced out of the room around midnight.
Lawyers, however, denied they had resorted to violence inside the court.
Senior counsel Subroto Mukhopadhyay said "it was just a glass pane that had come off the hinges and not due to any application of force by anyone."
Protesting against the police action, the West Bengal Bar Council called a day-long ceasework in all courts in the state today.
The Calcutta High Court Bar Association members held meetings and rallies in and around the court premises condemning the police action.
Shah remained Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court for just six months, having been elevated from the Gujarat High Court on December 24, 2009.
However, his transfer from the Calcutta HC to Bombay has nothing to do with Friday's incidents, high court sources said.
"The warrant of transfer has arrived and the Chief Justice will leave for Mumbai tomorrow," the official said.
The transfer was decided on during the tenure of former Chief Justice of India Justice K G Balakrishnan and the warrant arrived Friday, the sources said.
The judges hurriedly organised a farewell for the Chief Justice in the evening even as a large section of advocates demonstrated before the main gate of the High Court demanding transfer of Justice Shah.