Bengal Speaker ‘upset’ as Calcutta HC asks him to file affidavit

West Bengal Assembly speaker Biman Banerjee is quite upset over a recent directive from the Calcutta High Court seeking his affidavit in a case pertaining to the suspension of five BJP legislators, including Leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari.

On April 25, a bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha had sought an affidavit from the Speaker pertaining to the case. Justice Mantha has directed the state Advocate General to file the Speaker’s comments on this count in the form of an affidavit to the court by May 2, ahead of the next hearing scheduled on May 5, 2022.

According to the Speaker, he is considering this directive as the interference of the court in the internal proceedings of the Assembly. The Speaker had also pointed out that under Article 212 of the Indian Constitution, no court can inquire into the proceedings of the legislature, and that is where the court directive for the Speaker’s affidavit has surprised him.

However, according to him, he is also upset on the count that the five suspended legislators has approached the court directly when there is a provision for them to approach the Speaker for reconsideration of the suspension decision.

On March 23, ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition BJP legislators got engaged in skirmishes on the floor of the Assembly. Thereafter, the Speaker suspended five BJP legislators till the next session of the house.

Besides Adhikari, the five suspended legislators include BJP’s chief whip, Manoj Tigga, Narahari Mahato, Shankar Ghosh, and Deepak Burman.

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