The Bar Council of West Bengal on Sunday wrote to Chief Justice of India NV Ramana seeking the removal of Justice Rajesh Bindal as the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Calcutta.
Justice Bindal does not have any regard for Judicial propriety and has committed a mockery of judicial conscience, alleged the letter highlighting the listing and manner of hearing of the recent Narada sting tape case. It also claimed that Justice Bindal is biased.
"Soon after being transferred to the Calcutta High Court, Justice Bindal was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice. On and from his date of appointment as the Acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, there have been numerous instances that have forced us to issue the instant letter praying for the removal of his Lordship as a Judge from the Calcutta High Court. We would like to set out some of the instances which have given rise to a perception that Justice Bindal is an unfair, partial and biased judge and whose continuance at the High Court interferes with the fair and impartial dispensation of justice," said the letter.
The letter alleged, "The way Justice Bindal has dealt with W.P.A. 10504 of 2021 (CBI, ACB, Kolkata - Versus -Sri Firhad Hakim@ Bobby Hakim & Ors. also known as the "Narada Bail Matter") casts serious doubts over the conduct and character of Justice Bindal. Justice Bindal by an order dated 17.05.2021 had stayed an interim order of bail passed by the Special CBI Court in favour of members of a certain political dispensation without giving the aggrieved parties an opportunity of being heard. If that was not all, the manner in which the Central Bureau of Investigation had approached the Calcutta High Court by way of an application/letter, based on which an interim order of bail stayed and the liberty/relief granted to the accused persons were snatched away, indicate that Justice Bindal does not have any regard for judicial propriety and has committed a mockery of the judicial conscience."
The letter said that the conduct of Justice Bindal prescribed herein above was denounced and condemned by the sitting judges of the Calcutta High Court. "In this regard, we may refer to a letter dated 24.05.2021 written by Justice Arindam Sinha wherein he took serious exception to the manner in which the Narada Bail matter was handled by the Division Bench headed by Hon''ble Justice Bindal. His Lordship did not mince his words while observing that the conduct of the Hon'ble Justice Bindal was unbecoming of the majesty of the Calcutta High Court. His Lordship even went to the extent of admitting that the conduct of Hon'ble Justice Bindal had reduced the judiciary to a mockery. It is not surprising that despite such harsh criticism, the said matter is still unconcluded and is presently being heard by a bench comprising 5 judges headed by Justice Bindal," read the letter.
The letter alleged that the Bench headed by Justice Bindal has allowed repeated requests by CBI to file its affidavits, but has declined the request made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Moloy Ghatak to file affidavits and contest the matter where serious allegations have been made against them is a clear sign of Justice Bindal's apparent bias.
Further, taking note of the social media posts, the letter to CJI alleged that throught various social media posts an impression is sought to be given that Justice Bindal is BJP's man . "There are pictures of Hon'ble Justice Bindal visiting Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar's house which are widely published on social media. These pictures coupled with the conduct of Hon'ble Justice Bindal mentioned above seem to suggest that he is doing the bidding of the Governor at the Calcutta High Court," alleged the letter.
The letter requested CJI Ramana to take immediate steps for the removal of Justice Rajesh Bindal as a Judge of Calcutta High Court so that the majesty and sanctity of the Calcutta High Court is upheld and to ensure people's confidence in the judiciary does not fall to pieces.
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