Calcutta HC reserves order on Mamata Banerjee’s plea on Nandigram poll result

  • The West Bengal chief minister has sought Justice Kausik Chanda's recusal from the case, citing his connections with the Bharatiya Janata Party
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee attended the hearing virtually. (File photo)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee attended the hearing virtually. (File photo)
Published on Jun 24, 2021 04:27 PM IST
Copy Link | Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday reserved its judgement on an election plea by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee seeking the judge’s recusal from the case. The petition challenges BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari’s victory over the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo from Nandigram constituency in 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections.

Banerjee also appeared for the hearing virtually.

Appearing for Banerjee, advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi mentioned instances that show Justice Kausik Chanda has connections with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and highlighted a case where the Judge moved the intervention application on behalf of the saffron party, news agency ANI reported.

“You lawyers also have political affiliations. You are from Congress and Mukherjee (Mamata Banerjee’s counsel Soumendra Nath Mukherjee) has BJP background. But you are appearing for TMC’s Mamata Banerjee’s case,” ANI quoted Justice Chanda as saying to Singhvi.

Justice Chanda, as per the report, said that the petitioner has full right to move for recusal and that the matter will be decided judicially.

Banerjee has also moved an application to change the judge in the case, alleging that Justice Chanda has links with the central ruling dispensation.

Notably, the matter was deferred to this day on June 18 after Mukherjee requested the same to the court. “In the meantime, the Registrar shall file a report before this court as to whether the petition has been filed in conformity with the Representation of People Act,” the Calcutta High Court had directed in the order.

According to a Bar and Bench report, Justice Chanda further asked Banerjee’s unit as to why the recusal application was not pointed out on June 18, when the matter was first heard.

Adhikari, who was once a close-aide of Banerjee in TMC, defeated her in Nandigram by 1,956 votes. Soon after, the chief minister alleged that the returning officer of the Assembly seat had said that he was threatened against recounting of votes.

Despite the loss, TMC pulled off a landslide triumph in the polls by winning 213 seats of a total of 294, while the BJP emerged as the primary opposition.

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