Calcutta High Court Judge Abhijeet Ganguly is again in headlines these days, but this time there are two reasons. First, an interview given to the TV media during the investigation of the West Bengal teacher recruitment scam and second, an order given to the Registrar General of the Supreme Court.
Justice Ganguly has been in the news earlier also for his judgments, remarks and manner of functioning. Ganguly, 61, was appointed as a judge in the Kolkata High Court in the year 2018. His appointment was made permanent in 2020. Since then Ganguly is serving in the Calcutta High Court only.
Justice Ganguly, who studied law from Hazra College, has also been a state service officer. However, after resigning, he came into practice. Come let’s know 5 stories related to Justice Abhijeet Ganguly in this story…
1. Told journalists – do videography of the hearing
During the hearing of the West Bengal teacher recruitment scam in August 2022, Justice Abhijit Ganguly told reporters that you can record video of whatever is going on here.
This order of the judge was strongly opposed by the lawyers present there. The lawyers said that such an order would make the court a fish market.
In fact, Sukanya, daughter of Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mandal, was produced in the Calcutta High Court that day. The lawyers said that such an order is being used to garner publicity.
On this Judge Ganguly had said that you may have to face contempt. This decision of Justice Ganguly had made a lot of headlines.
2. Comment on Mamta Banerjee’s poem without taking name
The Bengal government ordered to keep Mamata Banerjee’s poetry and book in all government libraries. Justice Ganguly had targeted on this. His comment on Mamta’s poem made a lot of headlines.
In a program in January 2023, Justice Ganguly said without naming the Chief Minister that who would like to read Apang, Opang and Jhapang? He said that the state government should not waste money by keeping it in the library.
This remark of Justice Ganguly was targeted by the state government. The library minister of the government had said – it is not necessary that there should be logic in the words of the judge every time.
The minister of the Bengal government, defending Mamta’s poem, said that if the judge says something, it is not the voice of God, so it cannot be called correct. Many types of books are kept in government libraries in Bengal.
3. Told the CBI – I will complain to the Prime Minister
Justice Abhijit Ganguly had expressed displeasure over the slow investigation of the West Bengal teacher recruitment scam. Justice Ganguly told the CBI officials that the slowness of corruption investigation means that corruption is happening.
He told the officers in a strict tone that if they do not work properly, then they will complain to Prime Minister Modi. Not only this, while warning the officers, Justice Ganguly said that he will order an investigation into everyone’s property.
Justice Ganguly told the CBI lawyer to take it seriously and get justice for the candidates. In 2021, the investigation of the West Bengal recruitment scam was handed over to the Central Investigation Agency.
The Trinamool Congress had questioned the High Court’s order, but the Bengal government did not get any relief against this decision from the Supreme Court.
4. Said in the hearing – I can ask to withdraw the symbol of TMC
During the hearing of teacher recruitment scam, a comment of Justice Ganguly was in many controversies. He said during the hearing that I can ask the Election Commission to take back the Trinamool Congress symbol.
Justice Ganguly further said that how would Didi deal with so many goons? There was a lot of ruckus on this comment of Justice Ganguly and Trinamool opened a front in protest.
The Trinamool Congress said on this statement of Justice Ganguly – The judge is preparing to go into politics, so he is creating an atmosphere. However, after the protest, Justice Ganguly said that the Chief Minister is doing a good job.
Ganguly said that from now on I will not comment on Trinamool Congress and Mamta Banerjee. The people of Trinamool remained relaxed.
5. 95 orders in two and a half years, more against corruption and hooliganism
In August 2022, when the lawyers accused Justice Abhijit Ganguly of hearing the case only for publicity, he released the data. Justice Ganguly said that I have passed 95 orders in the last two and a half years.
Ganguly said that for 18 months in two and a half years, the functioning of the court was affected due to the corona virus, but despite this, I held hearings daily. In the order given by Ganguly, most of the orders have been given in the case related to corruption and hooliganism.
Justice Ganguly passed about 10 different orders in the West Bengal teacher recruitment scam itself. These included orders for CBI inquiry, interrogation of Partha Chatterjee, removal of Paresh Adhikari’s daughter from the job.
Justice Ganguly had summoned the commissioner on a petition filed against the hooliganism of an auto driver in Barrackpore, while the judge of the Medinipur court was called in a pension case.
How did the recent controversy start, what is the matter?
In the same month, Justice Abhijit Ganguly’s bench had also ordered the ED and CBI to interrogate Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in the teacher recruitment scam on the basis of a video.
Abhishek Banerjee challenged this order of the Calcutta High Court in the Supreme Court, after which the Supreme Court imposed an interim stay on 17 April. Abhishek’s lawyer questioned Judge Ganguly who was conducting the hearing.
During the hearing on 24 April, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi referred to an interview of Justice Ganguly. Singhvi said that listen to the interview of Justice Ganguly, what he is saying.
During the hearing, Supreme Court Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said that the judge should have refrained from giving interviews. He asked the Registrar General of the Supreme Court to order the transcript of the interview.
What did Justice Ganguly say in the interview?
In a TV interview in September 2022, Justice Abhijeet Ganguly made a scathing comment on a question of Abhishek Banerjee. Ganguly had said that when Abhishek linked the judiciary to the BJP, I felt like sending him a contempt notice.
Not only this, he also talked about the process of investigation and trial in the corruption case. Justice Ganguly said that people call me God, but I only talk about the Constitution. He had said that if Abhishek talks like this from now on, I will tell him the power of the judiciary.
Supreme Court’s action and then the ruckus started
After listening to the interview, the Supreme Court, while giving a verdict on 28 April, asked the Calcutta High Court to take over all the cases related to the teacher recruitment scam from Justice Abhijit Ganguly. The court said that judges should avoid making public statements during the hearing.
Shortly after the Supreme’s remarks, Justice Ganguly gave an order to the Registrar General of the Supreme Court. Justice Ganguly said in the order that the transcript copy of the interview should also be given to me, which has been kept with the Chief Justice.
Justice Ganguly said that I will wait for this copy in my chamber till 12.30 pm. The Supreme Court was shaken by this order of Justice Ganguly. In a hurry, the bench of Justice Bopanna and Justice Kohli sat for the hearing at 8 pm.
During the hearing, the Supreme Court asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta whether this is the right way? Mehta said that the High Court judge should refrain from this. On this, Justice Bopanna said that it is against judicial discipline.
The court, after hearing, stayed Justice Ganguly’s order and asked the Registrar General to inform him immediately.
What did Justice Ganguly say after the Supreme verdict?
After receiving the order from the Supreme Court late in the night, Justice Ganguly spoke to reporters in the Calcutta High Court campus. Expressing disappointment over the court’s order, he said that now children can hardly get jobs.
There was speculation about Justice Ganguly’s resignation in Bengal, which he also denied. Ganguly said that the matter of teacher recruitment will remain in the court. I have no personal interest in this.
He further said that whether I remain a judge or anything else does not matter. I will keep fighting against corruption. When asked about the Supreme Court declined to comment.
He said – I will say only one line, live jug-jug.