Calcutta HC judge recuses himself from hearing Mamata Banerjee’s election petition

The Chief Minister had urged Justice Kaushik Chanda to recuse himself alleging that the judge had links with the BJP.

Calcutta High Court Justice Kaushik Chanda on Wednesday recused himself from hearing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s election petition on the Nandigram poll results. The matter will now be assigned to a new Bench.

The Chief Minister filed the petition in June, alleging irregularities in the counting process in the Nandigram Assembly election held in 2021.

The matter came for hearing before Justice Chanda. Ms. Banerjee had urged the judge to recuse himself from hearing the petition alleging that the judge had links with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). During the hearing, Ms. Banerjee’s counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi had referred to numerous cases where justice Chanda had represented the BJP as a counsel.

Cost of ₹5 lakh imposed on Mamata

Justice Chanda, however, imposed a cost of ₹5 lakh on Ms. Banerjee for maligning the image of the judge. Several Trinamool Congress leaders had publicly made statements alleging that Justice Chanda had links with the BJP. The sum of ₹5 lakhs will be set aside for the welfare of COVID-19 victims.

Ms. Banerjee lost to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari in the Nandigram poll with a narrow margin of 1,956 votes.

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