Finally, one division bench judge accepts to hear WBSSC scam case

Finally, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court headed by Justice Subrata Talukdar on Tuesday afternoon agreed to hear the cases related to recruitment irregularities by the West Bengal School Service Commission.

The development brings an end to the uncertainty over the hearing of the cases as consecutive judges heading division benches recused themselves from hearing the cases.

On Monday, Justice Harish Tandon recused himself. Accordingly the hearing for the cases was transferred to the bench of Justice Joymalya Bagchi. However, on Tuesday, Bagchi also recused. Justice Bagchi, like Justice Tandon, cited personal grounds as the reasons behind his decision to recuse from hearing.

In fact, the transfer of the cases from the bench of Justice Tandon to the bench of Justice Bagchi involved a lot of complications since Monday. After Justice Tandon recused from hearing on Monday noon, the cases went back to the Calcutta High Court Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava for his decision to allot a new bench for the cases.

First Justice Srivastava decided to allot the cases to the bench of Justice T.S. Sivagnanam, who expressed his inability to hear the cases on grounds of his busy schedule with other assignments. Then Justice Srivastava decided to allot the cases to the division bench of Justice Soumen Sen. However, Justice Sen too expressed his inability on this count.

Finally, the Calcutta High Court chief justice allotted the cases to the division bench of Justice Joymalya Bagchi and Justice Bivas Pattanyak. However, on Tuesday morning Justice Bagchi announced his decision to recuse from the cases.

According to senior advocate of the Calcutta High Court, Kaushik Gupta, it is a welcome move that finally a judge heading a division bench has agreed to hear the cases. “Had the judges heading all the division benches recused from hearing, the only option that would have been was that cases had to be heard by the division bench of the chief justice of Calcutta High Court,” Gupta said.

Meanwhile, opposition political parties in the state said that the development of judges recusing proves how pathetic the socio-political condition of the state is.

According to the state president of BJP in West Bengal and the party MP, Sukanta Majumdar said even the judges are scared and feeling unsafe in West Bengal. CPI-M central committee member, Dr Sujan Chakraborty said that since the ruling Trinamool Congress has created an air of terror in the state even the judges feel uneasy in hearing cases relating to sensitive matters.

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