Calcutta High Court Refuses Contempt Action Against Abhishek Banerjee

Abhishek Banerjee

KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court dismissed a petition seeking initiation of suo moto contempt proceedings against Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee for his purported derogatory remarks against the judiciary by opining that the remarks do not tantamount to a contumacious act justifying the issuance of a suo moto rule of contempt.

On May 28, while addressing a public rally at the industrial township of Haldia in East Midnapore district of West Bengal, Banerjee had launched a scathing attack against a section of the judiciary in the backdrop of consecutive orders of CBI probe by the Calcutta High Court that have gone against the State government.

The plea alleged that the TMC MP had commented in an open forum that a fraction of the judiciary was acting in “cohorts” and ordering CBI investigations in every case and that it had been further remarked that the judges of the High Court are ordering stay of ongoing murder probes.

A Bench comprising Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya and Justice Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee was further apprised by the petitioner that the TMC MP had intended to ridicule the judiciary thereby scandalising the Court. It was further contended that Banerjee has a public audience by virtue of his office and thus tried to malign the judiciary and undermine its dignity.

However, the Bench refused to initiate contempt proceedings against Banerjee by observing,

“In the present case, undoubtedly the comments uttered by the person in question may not be palatable to the general public and/or the members of the Judiciary, however, such nature of the act need not have the effect tantamounting to a contumacious act, justifying issuance of a suo motu rule of contempt.”

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