Trinamool Congress (TMC) general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Friday expressed his disappointment on the appointment of Justice Kaushik Chanda as a permanent judge in the Calcutta High Court and shared a photo on Twitter along with a caption “Sad State of Affairs. New India!”. In the purported photo, Justice Chanda could be seen attending an event in which BJP chief in West Bengal Dilip Ghosh was also present.
“In exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Kausik Chanda, Additional Judge of the Calcutta High Court, to be a Judge of the Calcutta High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office,” the notification issued by the Department of Justice in the Law Ministry read.
Justice Chanda had on July 7 recused himself from hearing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s petition challenging the election of of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram assembly constituency this year.
Judge Kaushik Chanda bench was hearing Mamata Banerjee Nandigram Election petition in Calcutta High Court .
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had opposed Justice Chanda’s appointment to the Calcutta High Court earlier too. Mamata Banerjee referring to this photos and some other evidence prayed to Kaushik Chanda
Justice Chanda then recused himself from hearing the Nandigram election petition. However, he also fined Mamata Banerjee Rs 5 lakh for portraying the judiciary in bad light. “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 had said.
On June 24, the Trinamool Congress chief had filed a plea, seeking the recusal of Justice Kaushik Chanda “in order to avoid any prejudice during hearing as he was an active BJP member”.
Banerjee has challenged Suvendu Adhikari’s victory over her in Nandigram in the April-May assembly polls in West Bengal that her party won. She has alleged possibilities of tampering with electronic voting machines (EVMs) and foul play in the counting process.
On June 18, Mamata Banerjee’s advocate had wrote a letter to the HC Chief Justice’s secretary, stating, “My client had received a letter from the Chief Justice of this Court for confirmation of Justice Kaushik Chanda as a Permanent Judge of this Court. My client had objected to the confirmation of the Judge as a Permanent Judge of the High Court at Calcutta. My client has the utmost faith in the judicial system and the majesty of this Court. However, there is a reasonable apprehension in the mind of my client about the likelihood of bias on the part of the Hon’ble Judge.”