Collegium Backs 2 Calcutta HC Lawyers: Who are Amitesh Banerjee & Sakya Sen?

Banerjee's father had ruled out foul play in the Godhra train fire. Sen's father had investigated the Shardha scam.

2 min read
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The Supreme Court Collegium has expressed deep anguish over the government repeatedly sending back the same names for the same reasons for reconsideration.

The collegium, comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph reiterated the names of two advocates -- Amitesh Banerjee and Sakya Sen -- for appointment as judges in the Calcutta High Court. 

There has been continuous back and forth on the appointment of Banerjee and Sen, after their names were first recommended by the Calcutta High Court Collegium in 2018 and approved by the top court's collegium in 2019.

The government had sent its objections, following which the names were recommended again.

According to the Collegium's statement, the government has yet again sent back their names for consideration citing the same reasons.

"The inputs which have been furnished by the Department of Justice in the file on 25 November 2022 do not contain any fresh material or ground. Moreover, after the Supreme Court Collegium reiterated the proposal on 01 September 2021, it was not open to the Department to repeatedly send back the same proposal which has been reiterated by the Supreme Court Collegium after duly considering the objections of the Government."
Supreme Court Collegium

Besides these two, the Collegium has also reiterated its recommendation for three other lawyers (Saurabh Kirpal, John Sathyan and Somasekhar Sundaresan) while giving detailed responses to the center's reasons for objecting to their appointments.

While the reasons for the centre's objections to the appointment of the other three lawyers as judges are clear, the reasons why the Union government has sent back appointment recommendations for Sen and Bannerjee have not been revealed.

It is however, interesting to look at who they are and where they come from.

Who is Amitesh Banerjee?

Banerjee, a senior advocate at the Calcutta High Court, is the son of former Supreme Court judge Justice UC Banerjee.

Justice Banerjee had headed the commission set up by the UPA government in 2004 to rule out any 'conspiracy' in the 2002 Sabarmati Express fire in Godhra that killed 58 'kar sevaks'. 

The Sabarmati Express fire had sparked widespread communal riots in Gujarat.

The commission's report, which came out in 2006, had noted that the fire was accidental.


Who is Sakya Sen?

Advocate Sen is the son of Justice Shyamal Sen, who was elevated as a permanent judge of the Calcutta High Court in February 1986.

Justice (retd.) Sen had headed an inquiry commission which investigated the multi-crore Saradha Group ponzi scam.

He later became the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court and served as the Governor of West Bengal from May 1999 to December 1999.

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