Calcutta HC Judge recuses self from hearing Mamata Banerjee‘s Nandigram poll plea; imposes Rs 5 lakh fine
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Justice Kaushik Chanda of Calcutta High Court on Wednesday recused himself from hearing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee‘s petition that challenges the Nandigram election results in which Suvendu Adhikari won the constituency. The High Court judge also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the Chief Minister due to the manner in which the application for recusal was sought.
“I have no personal inclination to hear out the Petitioner’s case. I have no hesitation in taking up this case either. It is my constitutional duty to hear out a case assigned to me by the CJ…….I have however decided to recuse myself from this case,” Justice Chanda said.
Directing that the amount be deposited to the Bar Council of West Bengal within two weeks Justice Chanda said that he imposed the fine for the manner in which the recusal was sought. He further added "Such calculative, psychological and offensive attempt to seek recusal need to be firmly repulsed and a cost of Rs. 5 lakh is imposed upon Petitioner,"
As Justice Chanda has released the election petition from his court, the matter will now be referred to Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal for assigning it to a different bench.
On June 24 Mamata Banerjee had filed a plea in the court seeking the recusal of Justice Kaushik Chanda from her case. Banerjee claimed that Justice Chanda was an active member of the BJP till his appointment as the Additional Solicitor General of India in 2015. Therefore, since the election of a BJP candidate was challenged in Banerjee's plea, she feared his judgement would be biased.
Responding to this allegation Justice Chanda said that he was never a convenor of the BJP Legal Cell, but had appeared in many cases representing the party before the Calcutta High Court.
Banerjee's petition challenges Suvendu Adhikari’s victory over her in Nandigram in the April-May assembly polls in West Bengal. She has alleged that there could be possibilities of tampering with electronic voting machines (EVMs) and foul play in the counting process.
(With inputs from agencies)
Posted By: Sugandha Jha