The Calcutta HC judge on Wednesday impose Rs 5 lakh fine on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who had appealed to the court to remove Justice Kaushik Chanda from hearing her case against BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari’s election win in Nandigram.
Calcutta HC Judge impose Rs 5 lakh fine on Mamata Banerjee
Mamata Banerjee’s counsel had appealed for transfer of the case from Justice Kaushik Chanda’s bench citing bias as they claimed that Justice Chanda has often been seen with BJP leaders. Calcutta High Court’s Justice Kaushik Chanda recused himself while also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the petitioner. “If a person appears for a political party, it is uncommon but he lays aside his bias while hearing a case. In this case, pecuniary interest does not arise,” said Justice Kaushik Chanda during the hearing on Wednesday. He further said, “A deliberate and absolute attempt was made to affect my decision even before the case was heard.”
A judge cannot be seen to be biased because of the litigant-Court
“It is preposterous to suggest that a judge who has an association with a political party for a case. A judge cannot be seen to be biased because of the litigant’s view,” the judge said. According to the Bar and Bench, Justice Chanda had served as the Additional Solicitor General for the BJP government before he was elevated to the Calcutta HC bench.
Court took objection to the manner in which the demand for the judge’s recusal was made
The court took objection to the manner in which the demand for the judge’s recusal was made. “Immediately after June 18 hearing, TMC leaders were ready with my photos and put out tweets of my association with BJP,” observed Justice Chanda. Imposing a fine of Rs 5 lakh, Justice Chanda said: Such calculative, psychological and offensive attempt to seek recusal need to be firmly repulsed.”
Trouble-mongers” will try to keep the controversy alive if does not recuse- Justice Chanda
On Wednesday, Justice Chanda said “trouble-mongers” will try to keep the controversy alive if does not recuse. He also said that Mamata’s objection to his confirmation as a permanent Judge of the High Court is not relevant to her recusal plea. The money of Rs 5 lakh fined to Mamata Banerjee will be deposited with the Bar Council of West Bengal within 2 weeks and can be used for families of advocates who succumbed to Covid-19, he added.