Calcutta HC ruckus: Offending lawyers will be identified, sued

The lawyers of Calcutta High Court involved in a ruckus in front of the court of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha on January 9 and January 10 will be identified and sued for contempt of court, a special three-judge bench of the court said on Tuesday afternoon.

A three-judge bench of Justices T.S. Sivagnanam, Indra Prasanna Mukerji and Chittaranjan Dash, while hearing on the suo motu contempt of court rule by Justice Mantha in the matter on Tuesday, sought the CCTV footage.

“We would like to go through the CCTV footage first to identify the lawyers responsible on this count. Thereafter, they will be sued for contempt of court, Justice Sivagnanam said.

On January 14, Calcutta High Court’s Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava constituted this three- judge special bench to hear the matter. Justice Mukerji also stressed on examining the CCTV footage so that those responsible for creating the ruckus can be identified.

“What has happened was extremely unfortunate. All those responsible for it should be identified. However, at the same time it also needs to be ensured that anyone innocent is held responsible in the matter,” he observed.

The fiasco started from January 9 morning after slanderous posters were seen pasted on the walls of Justice Mantha’s residence and adjacent areas where the latter was slammed for being biased towards the leader of the opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari.

In the posters, he was also slammed for his recent verdict removing the protection of shield against any cohesive action, including arrest, by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Maneka Gambhir, sister-in-law of Trinamool Congress’s national general secretary and party Lok Sabha member, Abhishek Banerjee.

From the same day a section of the lawyers of the Calcutta High Court started boycotting Justice Mantha’s bench and also started resisting their fellow professionals in entering his court. The fiasco continued on Monday and Tuesday, until on Wednesday morning Justice Mantha issued a contempt of court rule and also filed a suo motu petition in the matter.

Although the resistance from entering his court stopped, a large section of the public prosecutors and government pleaders continued boycotting his bench thus affecting the progress of the cases where the state government is a party.

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