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Calcutta High Court Declines Suo Moto Cognizance of Abhishek Banerjee’s Remarks Against Judiciary

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Calcutta HC Abhishej banarjee- Law Insider

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Published on:18 July 2023 at 10:50 IST

The Calcutta High Court has recently rejected the initiation of a suo moto contempt of court case against Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee for his remarks that allegedly undermine the integrity of the judiciary.

Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya made this decision, stating that they cannot take suo motu cognizance of the motion brought forward by Senior Advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya.

Instead, the court advised the lawyer to file a formal petition or raise the matter before a larger bench that is already addressing contempt proceedings related to objectionable posters targeting Justice Rajasekhar Mantha.

The Bench explained that the ongoing proceedings would be the appropriate forum to address the concerns raised by Bhattacharya.

Bhattacharya, seeking an urgent hearing, argued that Banerjee’s comments directly blamed the High Court for protecting antisocial elements and held the institution responsible for certain acts of violence during the elections.

He emphasized the urgent need to address these remarks as they were allegedly impacting the majesty of the judiciary.

The Senior Advocate further stated that he was motivated to bring this motion after a request from a highly esteemed professor and former Advocate General of the state.

He urged the court to take suo motu cognizance of Banerjee’s “scathing and scandalous remarks,” asserting that such action would restore public confidence in the judiciary.

However, the Bench responded by advising Bhattacharya to file a petition and follow the proper procedures, including involving the Advocate General. In response, the advocate expressed his reluctance to involve the Advocate General and reiterated his request for the court to take suo motu cognizance.

Ultimately, the Bench declined to accept the request and directed Bhattacharya to bring the matter before the bench already dealing with the contempt proceedings related to the objectionable posters.

The court’s decision signifies that it will not pursue the contempt case against Abhishek Banerjee through suo motu action but expects the issue to be raised through appropriate channels.