Calcutta HC judge initiates contempt case against lawyers, bar body decides to boycott his court | India News – Times of India



KOLKATA: Justice Rajasekhar Mantha of the Calcutta HC on Tuesday initiated contempt proceedings against a group of unnamed lawyers for “obstructing delivery of justice” in his courtroom the previous day, ostensibly in protest against an order granting “blanket protection” from arrest to BJP’s Nandigram MLA Suvendu Adhikari.
As the standoff dragged on, a general body meeting of the bar association decided to abstain from all proceedings in Justice Mantha’s court for the sake of “maintaining peace in HC”.
Chief justice Prakash Shrivastava voiced his anguish at the goings-on whilehearing a petition seeking action against lawyers for the manner of their campaign against Justice Mantha. “Was there any need for the boycott? Can anyone boycott the court?” he asked lawyers.
Citing CCTV footage of lawyers shutting him out of courtroom 13 on Monday, Justice Mantha termed their act “inter-ference in the administration of justice and gross indiscipline”. He sent all records, including the footage, to chief justice Shrivastava with a request to ascertain whether the protesters could be booked under Criminal Procedure Code.
Justice Mantha also called the offi-cer-in-charge of the high court police station and directed him to beef up security to ensure that no plaintiff or lawyer was prevented from entering his courtroom. Police deployment was scaled up from two to eight personnel.
The protesting lawyers had bolted the doors to courtroom 13 on Monday to deny entry to colleagues willing to attend hearings. The bar association’s decision to abstain from proceedings in Justice Mantha’s court followed by an appeal to judge not to issue orders relating to pending cases. Some members contested the move.
BJP national VP Dilip Ghosh alleged that what happened in the HC was yet another instance of TMC allegedly trying to browbeat judiciary.

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