Legal drama ensued on Friday after the Supreme Court ordered the Calcutta High Court to reassign a case before Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay related to alleged irregularities in the recruitment of primary teachers in West Bengal to a different judge, reported Bar and Bench.
In response, the High Court judge passed an order directing the Supreme Court secretary-general to produce, by midnight, original copies of documents that were taken into account while passing the verdict. However, the Supreme Court held a special sitting late on Friday evening to put a stay on the High Court order, according to Live Law. It said that Justice Gangopadhyay’s order was not in line with judicial discipline.
Earlier on Friday, a bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha passed the order to reassign the matter in view of an interview that Justice Gangopadhyay had given to the news channel ABP Ananda in September where he spoke about the case.
The bench was hearing an appeal by Trinamool Congress National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee against a Calcutta High Court order directing the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate to question him in the case.
Banerjee had told the court that Gangopadhyay, who passed the order, had expressed his dislike for him in the ABP Ananda interview.
He had also alleged that Justice Gangopadhyay had made remarks against the judges of the Supreme Court, according to Bar and Bench. This was after the Supreme Court put a stay on the High Court order asking the CBI and Enforcement Directorate to question Banerjee and another Trinamool Congress leader Kuntal Ghosh on April 13.
“Supreme Court judges can do whatever they want?” Justice Gangopadhyay had said, Banerjee claimed in his plea. “Is this a zamindari [landlord-like behaviour]?”
At the last hearing in the case on Monday, the Supreme Court had remarked that judges have no business giving interviews to the media on pending cases, Live Law reported.
On Friday, the Supreme Court said that their decision to transfer the case from Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay was based on account of the transcript of Justice Gangopadhyay’s interview with the television channel.
Justice Gangopadhyay orders SC Secretary-General to provide his interview’s transcript by midnight
Meanwhile, soon after the Supreme Court passed the order to transfer the case from Justice Gangopadhyay, the High Court judge directed the Supreme Court Secretary-General to produce the report and official transcript of the interview.
He directed the secretary-general to provide him with the transcript by midnight.
“This is required for the sake of transparency,” Justice Gangopadhyay said. “I will be waiting in my chamber till 12:15 in the midnight to get the said two sets in original which were placed before the Hon’ble judges of the Supreme Court today.”