The Calcutta high court on Wednesday enforced a fine of Rs.5 lakh on West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee for seeking recusal of Justice Kaushik Chanda from her Nandigram election petition over the judge’s supposed connections with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The appeal of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo was declined by Justice Chanda himself. He, thus, determined to withdraw from the case on his own personal responsibility and released the case from his panel, said those familiar with the evolution.
Mamata Banerjee is countering a fine of Rs.5 lakh for coating the judiciary “in a bad light”, the decree stated. The amount paid in penalties by the West Bengal CM will be spent for the families of lawyers influenced by Covid-19, said the Calcutta high court.
Justice Kaushik Chanda stated that he is unable to satisfy himself that there is a “conflict of interest”. Thus, he still recused himself from the case so that “agitators” don’t get an opportunity to keep the discussion alive. “It will be contrary to the interests of justice if such unwarranted issues are pursued along with the probe,” said Justice Chanda while escaping from the case.
Before, WB CM Mamata Banerjee had sent a letter to the Acting chief justice of the Calcutta high court, expressing her grievance to Justice Chanda’s appointment as a permanent judge over “likelihood of bias”, citing his connections with the BJP during his days as a lawyer.