Justice Kaushik Chanda of Calcutta High Court on Wednesday recused from hearing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee‘s case in which she challenged the result of Nandigram constituency during the recently help assembly elections.
However, he slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the chief minister for the manner in which the application for recusal was sought, the live law reported.
“I have no personal inclination to hear out the Petitioner’s case. I have no hesitation in taking up this case either. It is my constitutional duty to hear out a case assigned to me by the CJ…….I have however decided to recuse myself from this case,” Justice Chanda said.
On June 24, the Trinamool Congress chief had filed a plea, seeking the recusal of Justice Kaushik Chanda “in order to avoid any prejudice during hearing as he was an active BJP member".
Banerjee has challenged Suvendu Adhikari’s victory over her in Nandigram in the April-May assembly polls in West Bengal that her party won. She has alleged possibilities of tampering with electronic voting machines (EVMs) and foul play in the counting process.
On June 18, Mamata Banerjee’s advocate wrote a letter to the HC Chief Justice’s secretary, requesting that the hearing of the ‘Nandigram recounting case’, which is currently before the single-judge bench of Justice Kaushik Chanda, be reassigned.
“My client had received a letter from the Chief Justice of this Court for confirmation of Justice Kaushik Chanda as a Permanent Judge of this Court. My client had objected to the confirmation of the Judge as a Permanent Judge of the High Court at Calcutta. My client has the utmost faith in the judicial system and the majesty of this Court. However, there is a reasonable apprehension in the mind of my client about the likelihood of bias on the part of the Hon’ble Judge,” the letter reads.