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‘Govt lawyers won’t appear before Justice Samapti’

The judge had made some critical comments about the state govt during a hearing.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Days after a judge lawyer spat at Calcutta High Court last week in the course of a legal battle over the no-trust vote of Bongaon municipality, a government empanelled lawyer today told Justice Samapti Chatterjee that lawyers on the state government panel won’t appear before her court. The ruling Trinamul Congress is pitted against the BJP for the control of the civic body.

The empanelled lawyers stopped pleading before the judge during the day and a memorandum was reportedly submitted to Chief Justice, Calcutta High Court TBN Radhakrishnan on the matter.

Hearing a petition on the no-confidence motion against the chairman of Bongaon municipalilty during the day, Justice Chatterjee observed : “I do not bother if state lawyers appear or not before me. I am only concerned about dispensing justice to the litigants. I am responsible to my chair. If I fail to do justice to the litigants, I will be doing injustice to my chair.”

Referring to the councillors, the court observed: “These persons are people’s representatives. Face the floor and prove your majority; after all, the liberty to move a no-confidence motion has already been given” . “How can you claim majority if 11 out of 21 are against you? I am not going to accept the proposition that 10 is higher than 11,” the court pointed out.

The BJP claims it has the support of 11 councillors and the TMC the support of nine; the other councillor is the common nominee of the CPIM and the Congress. Earlier, the court wanted to know what had prevented the 11 councillors of Bogaon municipality from participating in the voting process and directed them to hold the meeting according to law.

Appearing for the nine councillors, Parthasarathi Sengupta submitted that the meeting of the petitioners lacked sanctity as it was not held at the specified venue. The petitioners’ lawyer Asok Chakrabarti submitted the councillors were given the liberty by the court to move the no-confidence motion, while the clients of the other side cannot pass a resolution during the pendancy of another one. The resolution of the no-confidence motion signed by the executive officer has not been challenged, it was pointed out. In case of doubt about the majority, a floor test is a must. How can a group claim majority, if 11 out of 21 are against it, it was asked. The other side gave a notice but did not serve it to the group it had differences with, Chakraborti submitted. None of the 11 councillors got the notice. The manner of facing the no-confidence motion in which the chairman refused to accept the notice while vice-chairman did so contending it did match the appropriate format is mala fide, it was submitted. It displays an unwillingness to face the House, it was contended.