M A I N   N E W S

Remarks against judiciary
HC admits pleas against Mamata
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, August 16
Two separate petitions filed by two groups of lawyers were admitted to the Calcutta High Court today against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for defaming and denigrating the country’s judicial system.

In one petition submitted before Chief Justice JN Patel’s Bench, Congress cell lawyer Subrata Mukherjee and others demanded that the court should start criminal proceedings against the Chief Minister who during her address in the Assembly on August 14 had alleged that “the judges are corrupt and that the judgment in court can be bought”.

In the other petition which former deputy advocate general during the Left front regime Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya and others filed before Justice KJ Sengupta and Justice Ashim Ray’s division, the petitioners demanded that the court should start suo motu inquiry into the Chief Minister’s allegations against the country’s judicial system.

In both the cases, the court accepted the petitions and directed the petitioners to submit documentary evidence in support of their allegations. The court also asked the editors of two English newspapers and two Bengali TV channels to file affidavits before the court within two weeks corroborating the lawyers’ charges.

The next hearing will be held after two weeks.

The Chief Minister, however, denied that she had defamed the judiciary. She alleged that a controversy was being unnecessarily created on the issue. She claimed that she had only suggested a better and faster judicial system.

Meanwhile, eminent lawyer Soli Sorabji and other legal luminaries criticised Mamata Banerjee for making irresponsible statements about the country’s judicial system.

Lawyers at the Calcutta High Court and other district courts today held demonstrations against the Chief Minister’s remarks. They demanded that either the CM should apologise and withdraw her remarks or face legal action.

SC too moved

A petition was filed on Thursday in the Supreme Court seeking contempt action against West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee for her remarks that judgements are delivered for money. The petition was filed by J&K Panthers’ Party founder and senior advocate Bhim Singh. — PTI

Mamata unabashed

Mamata defended her remarks and said she was talking about reforms. “My speech in the Assembly is recorded, you can take a copy of that. I have talked about electoral reforms, judicial reforms and administrative reforms. If talking about our country’s drawbacks is a crime, I am ready to commit it a thousand times,” an animated Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.

“I have talked about valueless judiciary. I have never called any judge or lawyer corrupt. Every field has good and bad people,” she said. — IANS





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