A new bench of Calcutta High Court headed by justice Shampa Sarkar will hear the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s petition challenging the assembly poll results for the Nadnigram constituency. According to the HC sources, the matter will be heard on Wednesday or Thursday, this week. This comes after Justice Kausik Chanda recused himself from hearing Mamata’s plea on July 7.
Mamata had alleged that Justice Chanda’s long association as a lawyer with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legal cell posed an “apprehension of bias”. Earlier, she had also requested to change the judge.
Mamata’s appeal was heard by a bench headed by Justice Kaushik Chanda on June 18. However, the petitioner Mamata Banerjee raised doubts about Justice Chanda due to his past association with BJP as a lawyer. On July 7, Justice Chanda recused himself from the case so as not to escalate the controversy while imposing a fine of Rs 5 lakh on Mamata Banerjee for “putting judiciary in a bad light.”
Mamata has filed a petition challenging her rival and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari’s victory from the Nandigram Constituency in the West Bengal Assembly polls 2021.
The Election Commission of India on May 2 had declared Adhikari’s victory by 156 votes in the fiercely fought election for the Nandigram constituency. After her defeat from the Nandigram seat, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief alleged that the Returning Officer of the Assembly seat did not ensure proper counting of votes and he was threatened to not recount the votes.
Despite losing the Nandigram seat to Adhikari, Mamata became West Bengal Chief Minister as incumbent TMC registered a landslide victory in polls winning 213 of the total 294 seats. BJP which emerged as the second-largest party won 77 seats.
TMC requested the Bengal’s Chief Electoral Officer to immediately re-count votes and postal ballots in the Nandigram constituency. However, the request was declined. Later TMC filed a case in Calcutta High Court and the first hearing on Mamata’s petition took place on June 18.