Pre-judicial remarks by Justice Gangopadhyay| Top Court refuses TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee's plea seeking action

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Court was requested to transfer the proceedings against Banerjee before a single-judge bench of Justice Amrita Sinha of the Calcutta High Court

A CJI DY Chandrachud led bench of the Supreme Court today refused to entertain a plea by Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee seeking action against Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay of the Calcutta High Court for making remarks against him during interviews in relation to a case against Banerjee relating to an admissions scam.

However, the court agreed to hear his plea seeking to transfer the cases against him to itself before a 5-judge bench hearing a related matter that it had recently transferred to itself.

The bench also comprising Justices Manoj Mishra and Satish Chandra Sharma was requested to take action against the judge to prevent prejudicial remarks that could impact ongoing investigations.

Notably, the Supreme Court had transferred to itself the proceedings in a case before the Calcutta High Court where two conflicting orders had been passed by a single judge and division bench on CBI probe.

Earlier, the five-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India in a special sitting had stayed the proceedings in the case before high court.

Taking suo motu cognizance of the orders passed by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, a special bench led by CJI Dy Chandrachud was constituted on Friday, January 26.

Notably, Justice Gangopadhyay had ignored an order passed by a division bench, which had stayed the single bench's order for a CBI probe into a scam alleging irregularities pertaining to admissions to medical colleges in West Bengal.

Top Court's bench also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, Surya Kant, and Aniruddha Bose after hearing the matter briefly on Saturday had ordered thus, "Issue notice to the original writ petitioner before the High Court and the State of West Bengal. Pending further orders there shall be stay of all proceedings in the writ petitions before the high court. The implementation of the directions issued by the single judge on Jan 24, 25 shall remain stayed."

unique controversy had surfaced within the high court when Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay on January 25, ignored and declared an order of a division bench of Justices Soumen Sen and Uday Kumar illegal. He accused Justice Sen of showing favoritism towards a political party in West Bengal.

The background of the matter was that in a plea by one Itisha Soren alleging that in the State several persons had obtained fake caste certificates to get admission to medical courses, Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay passed an order calling for a CBI inquiry on January 24. He ordered the Advocate General to transfer the investigation documents from the State Police to the CBI while stating that he had little faith in the West Bengal Police.

Notably, Itisha Soren's petition had not sought any direction for a CBI probe in the matter.

On the same day, the State government contested the aforementioned order before a division bench of the high court rather than the Supreme Court. The matter was mentioned before a division bench of Justices Soumen Sen and Uday Kumar by the Advocate General within a few minutes of the single-judge order being passed. 

Case Title: Abhishek Banerjee vs. Union of India & Ors