A day after high drama was witnessed at the Alipore court as Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant) of the IPC was incorporated against jailed state Transport Minister Madan Mitra in Saradha scam case, former Tripura advocate general Bikash Bhattcharya on Tuesday appealed to the Calcutta High Court to take suo motu cognizance of the incident.
On Monday, a section of lawyers had tried to prevent Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Haradhan Mukherjee from booking Mitra under Section 409 as well. They demanded a hearing before Mukherjee passed any order. The verbal tussle continued between the lawyers and Mukherjee for a few hours before the matter was resolved. Mukherjee held his ground and incorporated the section on the pretext that it had been inadvertently dropped earlier.
The CBI had moved court seeking incorporation of Section 409, which allows a chargesheet to be filed against an accused within 90 days of arrest. The IPC sections slapped against Mitra — arrested on December 12 last year — mandated the chargesheet to be filed within 60 days of arrest. Mitra had last Friday filed a bail plea in the Alipore District and Sessions Judge’s Court and it is scheduled to come up for hearing on February 11.
Bhattacharya on Tuesday said Calcutta High Court Chief Justice Manjula Chellur has already initiated an inquiry into the incident.
“I have today drawn the court’s attention towards the incident in Alipore court yesterday. I have appealed to the court to take suo motu cognizance on the matter and issue a rule of contempt. The Chief Justice said she had already initiated a probe and sought a report from the court administration. After receiving the report, the court will take action as per law,” he said.
State Law Minister Chandrima Bhattcharya refused to comment on the issue. “The government has nothing to do with it. The court will take action if required,” she said.
Former Supreme Court justice and former chairman of the Human Rights Commission, Ashok Ganguly, described the incident as an attack on the judicial system. “Anybody can approach a court. But lawyers are showing allegiance to the ruling party and trying to obstruct a judge from discharging his duty,” he added.