Calcutta HC Bars Protests On Issue That Led To Lawyers Blockading Court, Order Mentions Trinamool Congress Spokesperson As Potential Contemnor
A three-judge Bench of the Calcutta High Court has ordered that no meetings, processions or agitations shall be held or placards displayed within the premises of the High Court or anywhere else concerning the issue that lead to blockading of the Court Justice Rajasekhar Mantha and pasting of posters against him in Court.
"Since this Court is seized of this matter, we direct that no meetings, processions, agitations, shall be held or placards shall be displayed within the premises of this Court or anywhere else concerning the subject issue and this direction shall be given due publicity by the Registrar General..", the Bench comprising Justice T. S. Sivagnanam, Justice I. P. Mukerji and Justice Chitta Ranjan Dash ordered.
The Bench of the three senior most judges of the Court was constituted by the Chief Justice after Justice Rajasekhar Mantha took suo moto cognizance of the issue and referred the matter to the Chief Justice. (read report)
Advocate General S. N. Mookherjee, Senior Advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya and the Registrar General of the High Court appeared before the Bench.
The Registrar General produced before the Court a letter addressed to her by the Assistant Commissioner of Police along with a pendrive containing CCTV footage as well as still photographs of the incidents in front of Justice Mantha's Courtroom.
The Registrar General has also produced a letter written by Tapas Maity containing the names of twelve persons who indulged in the incidents in Court. The names are mentioned in the Order and it mentions the name of "Kunal Ghosh, Spokesperson All India Trinamool congress".
The Court issued notice to the Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, the Assistant Commissioner of Police and the Officer-in-Charge of the Lake Police Station, Kolkata.
"The Commissioner of Police, Kolkata is directed to file a report before this Court as to who was the person, who had placed the order for printing the posters containing certain defamatory statements about the Hon’ble Judge, the printer who printed the posters and the persons, who were engaged to affix those posters", the Court directed.
The Court directed the Assistant Commissioner of Police to furnish the requisite certificate in terms of Section 65B of the Evidence Act for the contents of the pen drive.
The Court directed the Registry to issue notice to the Bar Council of India, the Bar Council of West Bengal, the Bar Association of High Court, the Bar Library Club and the Incorporated Law Society, to enable them to render their necessary assistance to the Court.
The Court said that it is awaiting the reports of the authorities before impleading the persons named in the letter mentioned above. The Court requested the Advocate General to assist the Court in the next hearing as well. The matter will be listed on February 2 at 2.30 pm.
Cause Title- The Court on its own motion. (CRLCP 1 of 2023)