Two Bengal govt pleaders removed from panel after appearing at Justice Mantha’s bench

Two lawyers, who were in the panel for representing West Bengal government in different legal suits, were removed from the panel on Friday.

It is alleged that both these lawyers, Manika Pandit and Saugata Mitra, had to pay the price of not following the footsteps of their fellow public prosecutors in boycotting the bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha of the Calcutta High Court.

The Office of Legal Remembrancer, West Bengal, which handles the matter relating to empanelment of lawyers for representing the state government, has issued two separate notifications on this count on Friday, removing the names of Pandit and Mitra from the panel.

Mitra has alleged that his name was removed from the panel without citing any reasons.

“My request to the legal cell of Trinamool Congress to take note of the matter. A legal cell cannot function like this. I represented the state government in a case related to senior citizens, the hearing for which was at Justice Mantha’s bench on Tuesday. I have not done any crime by that,” Mitra said.

Although Pandit has refused to speak to the media so far in the matter, Calcutta High Court sources said that she also appeared at the bench of Justice Mantha on Tuesday only on behalf of the state.

Although the phase of obstructing fellow professionals by a section of the Trinamool lawyers that was rampant on Monday and Tuesday is over, a large section of the public prosecutors or the state government have continued boycotting the bench of Justice Mantha till Friday.

This has affected the progress of cases where the state government is a party, since the hearing in the matters had to be postponed to a later date.

Meanwhile, the Bar Council of India has decided to send a three-member team to Calcutta High Court to investigate the protests by a section of the lawyers in front of Justice Mantha’s court. The team will include Supreme Court advocate Ravindra Kumar Raizda, Allahabad High Court’s Justice Ashok Mehta and Delhi High Court Bar Association Executive Committee member Vandana Kaur Grover. They will submit a report on January 17.

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