New updates have come in the Nandigram Election case. TMC Supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was fined a sum of Rs. 5 lakhs by Justice Chanda in the Nandigram Case against Suvendu Adhikari. The update comes after the West Bengal CM had appealed the Calcutta High Court to remove Justice Kaushik Chanda from hearing her plea against Adhikari due to ‘conflict of interest’.
Calcutta HC imposes fine of Rs 5 lakhs on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) July 7, 2021
Earlier on June 19, WB CM Mamata Banerjee wrote to the Calcutta HC and appealed to remove Justice Kaushik Chanda from hearing her plea against Suvendu Adhikari in the Nandigram election matter. Banerjee had claimed that Justice Chanda is an active member of the opposition party Bharatiya Janta Party and there would be a considerable amount of “apprehension of bias” in the matter.
On Wednesday, Calcutta HC judge Kaushik Chanda recused himself from hearing Mamata Banerjee’s petition where she challenged the victory of BJP leader from Nandigram, Suvendu Adhikari. Justice Chanda also imposed a fine of Rs. 5 lakh on Mamata Banerjee for her letter to Calcutta High Court where she sought to have Justice Chanda not hear her plea.
“No personal inclination to hear out case”: Justice Chanda
The Justice was quoted by Live Law, a prominent court-related news platform in India, saying-
“I have no personal inclination to hear out 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 CJI. I have, however, decided to recuse myself from this case.”
“’Trouble mongers’ will keep controversy alive till I don’t recluse myself”: Chanda
Although Justice Chanda claimed that its his Constitutional duty to hear a case that’s been assigned to him by the Indian Chief Justice, he claimed that there will be “trouble-mongers” that will try to rekindle the flame controversy if he wouldn’t recuse himself.
Further, Justice Chanda also squashed all the rumours that could have been spread claiming he recused himself from the case after CM Banerjee appealed to the Calcutta High Court. He claimed that Mamata’s objection is not relevant to her recusal plea.
“Petitioner cannot seek recusal based on her own consent or objection with regard to appointment of a Judge. A Judge cannot be said to be biased because of a litigant’s own personal action,”
-Justice Chanda said.
Rs. 5 Lakhs fine Can be Used for Families of Advocates that Died from COVID-19
The final nail to the coffin of the matter came in the form of Justice Chanda enforcing a fine of Rs. 5 lakhs and stating-
“Such calculative, psychological and offensive attempt to seek recusal need to be firmly repulsed.”
He also said that the money pertaining to the fine must be deposited to the West Bengal’s Bar Council in the next 2 weeks. Further, he also added that the money can be used for families of judges that lost their lives due to COVID-19.
Earlier in the Nandigram Election Case
Earlier, CM Banerjee asked the Calcutta HC to remove Justice Chanda claiming that his ruling will be biased as he was an “active member of the opposition party”. CM Banerjee in her letter wrote that there was
“reasonable apprehension of bias… in favour of the respondent who is also from the BJP”.
For the unversed, the respondent that Banerjee is stating is none another than her former aid in TMC and now BJP leader, Suvendu Adhikari.
“Judges can have point of view, but it is wrong…”
However, Justice Chanda had retaliated on the alleged association with BJP. He claimed that judges also vote and they also have a political point of view, however-
“it is wrong on Mamata Banerjee’s part to think that a judge cannot discharge his duty as one just because he votes for one political party or the other.”