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TMC Urges PM To Remove SG Mehta Over Alleged Meeting With Adhikari

Saying that Suvendu Adhikari 'dropped in unannounced', Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, denied the meeting.

Updated
Politics
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari (left), Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta (right), Image used for representational purposes.&nbsp;</p></div>
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Mamata Banerjee's All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, 2 July, urging him to remove Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, alleging that a meeting had been held between Mehta and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, who is currently being investigated by the CBI in corruption cases, took place.

However, saying that Adhikari 'dropped in unannounced' on Thursday, Mehta, denied the meeting.

In the letter to Modi, MPs of the Trinamool Congress alleged 'conflict of interest' in Mehta's meeting with Adhikari, the Leader of Opposition in Bengal, and said he should be 'immediately removed' as the central government's top lawyer.

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The letter also claims that the meeting, 'curiously took place subsequent to meeting of Suvendu Adhikari with the Home Minister Amit Shah'.

Adhikari is an accused in various criminal cases of 'cheating, illegal gratification, and bribery etc' and is being investigated by the CBI, which is represented by the Solicitor General in many of these cases, the letter said.

The letter mentioned two of these cases:

  1. Narada Case: Currently being investigated by the CBI and ED, where Adhikari was seen taking bribes in a sting operation, the clips of which were publicly circulated by the BJP. Mehta is representing the CBI in the Narada case before the Supreme Court and High Court.

  2. Saradha chit fund case: Also being investigated by the CBI and ED where Datta Sen, the prime accused, had written multiple letters levying grave allegations against Suvendu Adhikari. Mehta has advised and appeared for the CBI in this case as well.

The letter signed by three MPs, Derek O'Brien, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and Mahua Moitra, said that Mehta meeting such a person raises 'some serious questions about the integrity of the post'.

The MPs added that they have 'reasons to believe that such a meeting has been organised to influence the outcome of matters where Suvendu Adhikari is an accused, using the high offices of the Learned Solicitor General'.

The letter adds that this act (meeting), “Not only reeks of impropriety but also raises the question of integrity, and taints the post occupied by the Solicitor General.”

No Question of Meeting Adhikari: SG Tushar Mehta

Saying that there was no question of him meeting with Adhikari, Mehta claimed, “Suvendu Adhikari did come to my residence-cum-office yesterday at around 3 pm, unannounced. Since I was already in a pre-scheduled meeting in my chamber, my staff requested him to sit in the waiting room of my office building and offered him a cup of tea," NDTV reported.

Mehta was further quoted as saying, "When my meeting was over and thereafter my (personal secretary) informed me about his arrival, I requested him to convey Mr Adhikari my inability to meet him and apologise as he had to wait. Mr Adhikari thanked my PPS and left without insisting to meet me. The question of my meeting with Mr Adhikari therefore did not arise."

Adhikari on the other hand, told reporters that he had gone to Mehta's house to discuss post-poll violence in Bengal but did not get to meet him.

Urging the PM for Mehta’s removal, the Trinamool wrote, "Such a meeting between an accused in grave offences, with the learned Solicitor General who is advising such investigating agencies by whom the said accused is being investigated, is in direct conflict of interest with his statutory duties."

(With inputs from NDTV)

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