Section of Calcutta HC lawyers boycotts proceedings by Justice Rajasekhar Mantha
The protestors objected to an order by the judge directing the police not to file any cases against BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari without the court’s permission.
A section of lawyers on Tuesday said that they will not take part in proceedings before Justice Rajasekhar Mantha, citing objections to some of his orders, PTI reported.
A day earlier, the lawyers had surrounded the courtroom of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha and called for boycotting him, according to The Telegraph.
In a letter addressed to the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Prakash Shrivastava, the lawyers have alleged that recent orders of Justice Mantha had “fallen short of his usual standards”. The lawyers were part of the Trinamool Congress’ legal cell, according to Bar and Bench.
On Monday, the protestors engaged in a scuffle with some lawyers who tried to enter Justice Mantha’s courtroom. Proceedings at the courtroom remained suspended for two hours due to the clashes. Even after hearings resumed, many lawyers stayed away from his courtroom.
However, proceedings at Justice Mantha’s court were held normally on Tuesday.
The agitating lawyers objected to a direction from the judge to the West Bengal Police on December 8 to not register any case against Bharatiya Janata Party MLA and state Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari without the High Court’s permission. The judge had also stayed over 26 first information reports lodged against him.
In another order, Mantha had removed the protection granted to Maneka Gambhir, sister-in-law of Trinamool Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee in a money laundering case.
In the wake of the protests, Chief Justice Shrivastava on Monday temporarily suspended hearing at his own court to convene a meeting of senior judges of the High Court, reported The Telegraph. He summoned state Advocate General Soumendra Nath Mookherjee and the Bar Association president Arunabha Ghosh and sought their stand on the matter.
Ghosh on Tuesday said that the Bar Association has nothing to do with the agitation. “I have told the Chief Justice that action may be taken over the issue as he deems fit,” he said.
Meanwhile, pamphlets describing Justice Mantha as a “disgrace in the name of the judiciary” were seen on walls near the court premises, and near the judge’s home. The pamphlets said that he pardoned all cases against Adhikari and removed “rightful protection” that had been given to Gambhir.