Small fraction of judiciary has become minion: Abhishek Banerjee
A small fraction of the judiciary has become “minion” and is ordering the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in every case, Trinamool Congress (TMC) general secretary Abhishek Banerjee said on Saturday, triggering strong reaction from opposition parties in West Bengal.
“I feel ashamed to say that a very small fraction of the judiciary has become minion. One or two persons are working with an understanding. Not all, only one per cent. They are ordering CBI investigation in every case. They are even ordering stay on ongoing murder probes. Have you ever heard of this? You cannot order a stay on a murder investigation,” Banerjee, who is chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, said at a meeting of party workers in East Midnipur district.
Banerjee’s statement comes at a time when 272 cases in the state are being probed by CBI on the orders of the Calcutta high court. Majority of these cases are pertaining to the political violence that took place after the TMC won the 2021 assembly elections.
“If you want to take action against me for what I have said, go ahead. I do not hesitate to speak the truth. I will speak the truth a thousand times, ten thousand times before television cameras,” Banerjee said at the meeting in the port town of Haldia.
He also referred to the summons sent to him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) without mentioning the coal smuggling case, in which he and his wife, Rujira, have been named by the central agency. His wife was questioned by CBI last year.
“CBI and ED are constantly targeting me but I have not lowered my head before them. I am not afraid of any agency or investigation. ED tried to harass me by calling me to Delhi twice. I have never run away from any agency. I told them if they want to interrogate me, they should come to Bengal. I am a son of this soil. I am ready to answer all questions,” said Banerjee.
Reacting to his remarks, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state chief spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said: “The TMC has targeted the judiciary in the same manner in which it has targeted all institutions and our democratic structure.”
“Saying that he was referring to one percent of the judiciary or one or two judges makes no difference. It was a five-judge bench of the Calcutta high court that said in its order (in the post-poll violence case) that Bengal is being run by a law of its own,” he added.
Eminent lawyer and Communist Party of India (Marxist) Rajya Sabha member Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said Banerjee’s statement tantamount to contempt of court.
“This is clearly contempt of court. Disrespect has been shown to the judiciary. Only TMC leaders are capable of such things,” he said.
Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that Mamata Banerjee was making her party leaders target the judiciary as she could not do it.
“TMC leaders cannot accept verdicts that go against the party. Abhishek is a child. Why is Mamata Banerjee not making these statements?” he asked.