Justice Kaushik Chanda of the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday recused himself from hearing a plea filed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee challenging the Assembly election results in Nandigram. The TMC leader had sought a reassignment on grounds that Justice Chanda was an active member of the BJP before becoming a judge. A penalty of Rs. 5 lakh was however imposed on the Chief Minister for the manner in which the application was moved.
Hearing the case at the end of June, the judge had reserved order. While the matter had been slated for an earlier hearing, Dr. AM Singhvi who was appearing for Banerjee said that the issue had not been raised on June 18 as they were yet to file a formal application. Reports had quoted Justice Chandra to say that the application was pending before the Chief Justice who is the master of the Roster.
While the judge insisted that there was no conflict of interest, he nonetheless recused himself from the case. "Persons involved in this case belong to higher strata of State politics. Some opportunists have already emerged. These trouble-mongers will try to keep the controversy alive if I don't recuse," an update by Live Law quoted him as saying.
Further details awaited.