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Mamata's Nandigram Poll Plea: HC Issues Notice to Suvendu Adhikari

A single-judge bench also asked the concerned authority to preserve all documents connected with the said election.

Published
West Bengal
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Mamata Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikari. Image used for representational purposes.&nbsp;</p></div>
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The Calcutta High Court, on Wednesday, 14 July, issued notice to BJP leader and West Bengal Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari. This notice comes in an election petition filed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee challenging Adhikari’s election from Nandigram constituency in May 2021.

According to a Bar and Bench report, a single-judge bench of Justice Shampa Sarkar also asked the concerned authority to preserve all documents, election papers, devices, video recordings etc connected with the said election, for the duration of the case.

Further, following a perusal of the report of the Registrar from 21 May, the court noted that there were no defects in the petition filed by the West Bengal CM.

“As per the office report, the election petition does not suffer from any defect as provided in Section 86 (1) of the Representation of People Act, 1951. Let notice be issued in terms of Rule 24 of the Election Petition Rules framed by this court. The matter is made returnable on 12 August 2021.”
The Court, as per Bar and Bench

WHAT DID THE PETITIONER’S COUNSEL SAY?

Senior Advocate Soumendra Nath Mookherjee, appearing for CM Banerjee, detailed the timeline pertaining to the filing of the case and contended that the procedural requirements for following the said petition had been complied with.

Pointing out that the petitioner herself was present in the court when the matter had come up for hearing before Justice Kaushik Chanda, the counsel also said that “if Your Lordships wants, petitioner can come present herself again”.

FORMERLY

Justice Chanda had recused herself from the matter, after the petitioner had raised an objection claiming that the judge had been close to the BJP when he was a lawyer.

Banerjee on 18 June wrote to the Calcutta High Court, urging that her petition be re-assigned to a different judge.

“My client has been made aware that the Hon'ble Justice Kaushik Chanda was an active member of the BJP. Thus, in the event the Hon'ble Judge takes up the election petition, there will be reasonable apprehension in my client's mind of bias on the part of the hon'ble judge in favour of the respondent and/or against my client,” the letter read.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench)

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