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AG resigns in Bengal, addl AG to step down Wednesday

Jayanta Mitra became the third advocate general to resign in the Trinamool Congress era.

kolkata Updated: Feb 07, 2017 19:10 IST
Tanmay Chatterjee
Tanmay Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
West Bengal,Advocate General,Jayanta Mitra
Jayanta Mitra resigned at a time when the Mamata Banerjee government is fighting a number of cases against CBI and ED that are investigating the chit fund scams.(HT Photo)

Caught up in crucial legal battles, mostly against Central investigation agencies, the Bengal government suffered a blow on Tuesday when Jayanta Mitra became the third advocate general to step down ever since the Trinamool Congress came to power in 2011. Mitra was having serious differences with the government over some important cases.

In an unprecedented development, Lakshmi Gupta, the additional advocate general, too, announced his resignation. “It’s a team work. You can’t work if the team breaks,” said Gupta.

“Differences of opinion with the government remain. Let the government go ahead with its policies. I am grateful to my colleagues and support team for letting me serve the people successfully,” said Mitra.

Read: West Bengal advocate general Anindya Mitra resigns

His resignation created a sensation at the Calcutta high court with most eminent lawyers in the city accusing the government of putting distinguished legal experts under pressure for political reasons.

Anindya Mitra was the first advocate general to resign after Trinamool came in power in 2011. He was followed by Bimal Chatterjee.

Jayanta Mitra was appointed towards the end of 2014. In fact, Manjit Singh, the chief public prosecutor, too, resigned about a month ago.

“Advocate general is a Constitutional post. The person serving as AG cannot become an organ of the government. All the AGs who resigned were extremely qualified but they couldn’t become part of political decisions,” former AG of Tripura and CPI-M leader, Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya told HT.

“These men were under pressure. Do you really believe that men holding such high positions would resign to pursue hobbies?” said a very senior member of the High Court Bar Association.

First Published: Feb 07, 2017 18:59 IST