Press Trust of india

Contempt against lawyers who demonstrated before HC judge’s courtroom

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Kolkata: Justice Rajasekhar Mantha of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday initiated contempt proceedings against  lawyers who allegedly disrupted functioning of his court a day before.

Protests were held by a section of lawyers outside Justice Mantha’s courtroom on Monday over certain orders passed by him.

Initiating contempt proceedings against persons who caused disruption of functioning of his court, Justice Mantha directed that all relevant records be sent to Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava for adjudication of the matter.

Justice Mantha also directed that CCTV footage recorded during the agitation outside his courtroom be preserved.

A section of lawyers at the high court said on Tuesday that they have decided not to take part in proceedings before the court of Justice Mantha over some orders passed by him.

The court of Justice Mantha was functioning normally on Tuesday with petitions being heard in the usual manner, even as security outside his courtroom was beefed up following Monday’s protests.

Demanding that Justice Mantha’s determination be changed, meaning that he be assigned matters on other subjects, some lawyers had held protests on Monday outside his courtroom.

Some other lawyers pointed out the incident to Chief Justice Shrivastava seeking his intervention to remove the agitators to ensure free ingress and egress.

The lawyers were agitating over some orders passed by Justice Mantha, including one passed in December last that gave protection to the Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari directing the state police not to register any more FIRs against him without the high court’s permission.

Justice Mantha had also stayed all the FIRs referred to in a petition by Adhikari, wherein he claimed that 26 FIRs had been registered against him in different police stations of the state to prevent him from performing his function as a people’s representative at the instance of the ruling dispensation in the state.

Calcutta High Court Bar Association president Arunabha Ghosh said on Tuesday that the association has nothing to do with the agitation.

“I have told the Chief Justice that action may be taken over the issue as he deems fit,” he said.

Posters were also found pasted with similar allegations over some orders on the entrance door and walls of Justice Mantha’s residence at Jodhpur Park area in south Kolkata as also on the boundary walls of several other houses in the neighbourhood.

Similar protests were seen outside the courtroom of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay in April last year.

Justice Gangopadhyay had, prior to the protests, ordered CBI enquiry in some cases over alleged irregularities in appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff in West Bengal government-sponsored and -aided schools.

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