Single-judge vs Division Bench: Calcutta HC Chief Justice expresses displeasure
KOLKATA — In his first reaction to a tiff between a single-judge Bench and Division Bench in the Calcutta High Court, Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam expressed discomfort over the situation on Tuesday.
“I am sad and ashamed over what has happened. Such things are not expected in the temple of law,” said the Calcutta High Court Chief Justice.
He also observed that since Calcutta High Court is one of the most prestigious courts in the country, the situation which has evolved is impacting the common people.
“We are trying our best to normalise the situation and I am hopeful that the situation will normalise again,” Justice Sivagnanam observed.
His observations have immense significance at a time when the matter is already in the Supreme Court of India.
The root cause of the face off is an order passed on January 24 by the single- judge Bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay directing a CBI probe in a case involving the use of fake caste certificates for admissions to medical colleges in the state.
However, in the absence of any written order from the Division Bench on Wednesday, Justice Gangopadhyay asked the CBI to go ahead with the investigation by registering an FIR.
On January 25, when the matter was again referred to the Division Bench of Justice Sen and Justice Kumar, the latter rejected the FIR.
The differences started taking a serious turn from there. When the information about the rejection of the FIR by the Division Bench reached the Bench of Justice Gangopadhyay, the latter took strong objection over the development.
Accusing Justice Sen of passing a “politically-biased” order, Justice Gangopadhyay also referred to an incident when Justice Sen reportedly called Justice Amrita Sinha to his chamber and gave the latter certain suggestions on the cases related to the school job scam being heard by her Bench.
The Supreme Court took a suo motu cognisance of the unprecedented differences and on January 27, a five-judge Bench of the apex court stayed all the proceedings pending before the Calcutta High Court, including directions for a CBI probe issued by Justice Gangopadhyay.