Rising Threat To Judges Across State- Over 100 Calcutta HC Lawyers Urge Chief Justice To Take Suo Moto Cognizance
In a letter addressed to the Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava of Calcutta High Court, over a hundred lawyers of the Calcutta High Court have urged the Chief Justice to take suo moto cognizance of rising threats to Judges across the State of West Bengal
The letter refers to the threat issued to the Special Judge in West Bengal and the incident where Senior Advocate and former Congress MLA Arunava Ghosh, who is also the President of the Calcutta High Court Bar Association had threatened Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, in a spat inside Courtroom that was recorded on video. Earlier, the issue relating to the threat to the Special Judge was mentioned before the Supreme Court.
The lawyers have referred to the incident that happened in the Court presided over by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay on August 18, 2022, wherein "unparliamentary words were used before the Hon'ble Court and a ruckus was willfully created to disrupt the Court proceedings".
It has been mentioned that "decorum has to be maintained at all times before the Hon'ble Court in addressing the Court. However, the same was done away with in the unfortunate incident of the unruly spat" that occurred.
The letter also highlights the fact that in the recent past, there had been an unprecedented incident wherein the Bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay was sought to be boycotted by a section of the Advocates, however, with the intervention of the Chief Justice the matter was resolved.
Furthermore, the lawyers have expressed their apprehension that due to the recent incident that happened on August 18, such incidents by unruly Advocates might happen again.
While referring to the recent incident wherein a threatening letter was sent to a CBI Court Judge in Asansol, West Bengal threatening that the family members of the Judge will be falsely implicated in a Narcotics case if a TMC party leader was denied bail, the lawyers have stated that this "sent appalling waves amongst the citizens of West Bengal".
While expressing concern over such incidents, the lawyers have further stated the citizens of West Bengal had already suffered politically motivated gruesome atrocities right after the state assembly elections last year and in such a hostile environment the citizens of West Bengal anticipate justice from the Judiciary considering its image of unshakeable independence.
Referring to the incident relating to the CBI Court Judge, the lawyers have stated that such an incident holds the potential to change the course of the investigation which is at a nascent stage.
The lawyers have urged that the democracy in the State can remain intact only if the institutions are allowed to work autonomously as per the Constitution of India and not if they work under coercion, influence, and high-handedness of those in power.
In furtherance to this, the lawyers have cited an example of the Supreme Court which is already seized of the matter regarding the death of a Judge in Jharkhand, who was mowed down in broad daylight after which the Apex Court took suo moto cognizance of the case.
Thus, the lawyers have prayed before the Chief Justice to treat the recent cases of disruptions and threats given to the Judges on parity by taking suo moto cognizance of the same as had also been done in other cases to create an environment of security, so that Judicial Officers and lawyers can perform their duties fearlessly.
The lawyers have thus urged the Chief Justice for urgent and immediate intervention.