A judge of the Kolkata High Court will today hear a petition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, questioning her failure in the March and April parliamentary elections in Nandigram.
Last week, Judge Kausik Chanda refused to hear the petition, but imposed a fine of Rs 500,000 on the head of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) because of the method of disqualification.
Banerjee and his party requested that the petition be transferred to another judge on the grounds that it was “biased” because Chanda represented the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leaders in court cases before being promoted to judge in 2019. Chanda appeared in a photo sharing the stage with BJP leaders, including Dilip Ghosh, the head of the state unit.
In its July 7 order, Chanda said: “It is necessary to resolutely reject those calculated, psychological and offensive attempts to seek avoidance, and to impose a fee of 500,000 rupees on the petitioner.” The money will be used to fight Covid19.
“It is absurd to think that judges who have been associated with a political party as a lawyer in the past should not accept cases involving that party or any of its members. In the past, simply linking judges to political parties did not form prejudice,” Chanda said last week.
Banerjee was handed over to the High Court, accusing his protégé Suvendu Adhikari of a small loss of 1,956 votes and violations in voting. This was the first time he lost an election in 32 years.
Shortly after the results were announced, ruling TMC requested a recount to support the BJP candidate, but the request was rejected by the Election Committee.