NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will hear on Monday BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari’s plea for transfer of TMC leader and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee‘s petition in Calcutta HC challenging his electoral victory over her at Nandigram to a HC outside the state alleging that she would use money and muscle power to influence witnesses in the trial of the election petition.
In his petition, Adhikari said, “Immediately after the result of the Nandigram Constituency was announced, Banerjee started raising baseless objections and allegations against the election result and started rallying her supporters, party members and high ranking officer bearers of the newly constituted West Bengal Government to stir up a scurrilous campaign to cast doubts and aspersions upon the fair and square victory of the petitioner in the Nandigram Constituency election.”
“Differently put, in absolute violation of the spirit of democracy and the public mandate bestowed upon the Petitioner by the electorate of the Nandigram Constituency, the Respondent refused to accept the legitimate result of the aforementioned election,” Adhikari said in his plea filed through advocate Surjendu Sankar Das.
He said Banerjee as CM “is misusing her office to interrupt and/or interfere with the functioning of constitutional bodies”, which creates a genuine apprehension in his mind regarding a fair trial, free of political pressure and influence.
“The petitioner also apprehends that the potential witnesses in the election petition, who may provide crucial evidence and may possibly depose against Banerjee, may be threatened and unduly influenced by the respondent, in her capacity as the sitting Chief Minister of the State of West Bengal, using the State Machinery, obviously at her disposal,” Adhikari alleged.
“It is not unprecedented for Banerjee to have abused her power as the occupier of the highest political office of West Bengal to influence the functioning of the establishment of the State and harass and threaten anyone who has attempted to dissent,” he said.
“Furthermore, the possibility that documentary evidence required for a fair trial in the election petition may be tampered with, suppressed, or concealed by Banerjee, using the state machinery, owing to her position as the sitting Chief Minister, cannot be ignored,” he added.
Adhikari recalled the ugly scenes at the Calcutta HC premises when the TMC was demanding recusal of Justice Kaushik Chanda. “As soon as her election petition was assigned to Justice Chanda, Banerjee wrote a letter on June 16 to the acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta HC for reassignment of her petition to a different Bench expressing apprehension of bias against her by Justice Chanda. This was done even before the first hearing of the matter could be conducted before Justice Chanda,” he said.
“She either instigates anarchy by her supporters and party workers or she does not have control over such persons who perpetrate lawlessness and anarchy as has been witnessed even inside the Calcutta HC premises during hearing of the recusal application by Justice Chanda,” he said and referred to the TMC’s “subversive machinery” being rolled out malign the HC judge. He also referred to the statements against the Judge by TMC leaders Derek O’Brien and Mahua Moitra highlighting the judge as a BJP loyalist.
Justice Chanda had said in his judgment that “The script (by TMC) was already prepared; the dramatis personae were ready to launch a well-rehearsed drama outside the Court.” The Judge had recused hearing the election petition but not before strongly deprecating the attempts to force his recusal.
Adhikari said “the manner in which this recusal was achieved has brought various startling facts to light which caste serious doubts in the Petitioner’s (Adhikari’s) mind about the fair adjudication of the election petition before the Calcutta HC, free from all influence and dispense justice in its truest sense in the matter.”
The BJP leader said, “Banerjee has served as the CM since 2011. It is obvious that in her time in office, she would have consented to the appointment of many if not all Judges of the HC. Therefore, a majority of the Calcutta HC Judges would have either a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Banerjee, and would have received either her consent or objection to their confirmation or appointment as a Judge. Therefore, as per Banerjee‘s own case, the petitioner apprehends that the election petition may not be fairly adjudicated in an unbiased manner before the Calcutta HC.
Referring to the ruckus created by TMC workers allegedly led by the CM after the arrest of four senior leaders in Narada scam, Adhikari said, “Despite being the Chief Minister, she herself went inside the CBI office and staged protests along with the law minister of West Bengal and a barrage of politicians started crowding inside the court premises where the persons arrested were to be produced. This is yet another stark example of Banerjee misusing her political clout and position to hold at ransom independent bodies like CBI.”

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