The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bar says Biswas charge baseless

The West Bengal Bar Council on Friday reacted sharply to a comment by CPM state secretary Anil Biswas, and asserted that it was a statutory body, with no political connection. The council declared after a meeting that the allegation made by the CPM leader, on its defence of Justice Amitava Lala’s judgment on city rallies, was “baseless”.

Biswas on Thursday had alleged that the stand taken by the West Bengal Bar Council, demanding the arrest of Left Front chairman Biman Bose for “assassinating the character of a high court judge”, was politically motivated. Biswas had also said that a few members of the council “were taking advantage of their posts to indulge in politics”.

Council leaders told Metro the executive committee had unanimously decided to lodge a complaint with governor Viren J. Shah and would request him to ask Biswas to withdraw his comment on a “statutory body” like the Bar Council. The members also decided to refer the matter to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

The chairman of the executive committee said the council members felt it was their duty to protest when a leader of the stature of Biman Bose openly criticised the judgment of Justice Lala and made adverse comments against the judge.

“Ours is an organisation of 26,000 members. The bar associations of almost all the courts are pressuring the executive committee to protest the conduct of Bose. It would be unwise for us to remain silent when the judiciary is being attacked by a political leader,” said Saradindu Biswas, member of the executive committee of the council.

He said the council, to date, had not issued any statement supporting Justice Lala’s verdict. Instead, it had requested Chief Justice A.K. Mathur to set up a special bench to hear the state government’s appeal. “Yet, Anil Biswas has accused us of resorting to politics.”

Naidu sermon

BJP national president Venkaiah Naidu has urged mainline political parties to reach a consensus on how to tackle the restrict-rally verdict. Naidu, on a day’s visit to the city to attend a parliamentary standing committee meeting on external affairs, said the CPM had displayed “scant regard” for the Constitution by launching a personal attack on Justice Lala.

“In a vibrant democracy, we cannot ban processions and meetings. But at the same time, we must ensure a smooth flow of traffic. We should sit together to discuss how rallies can be organised in a more regulated manner, so that people are least inconvenienced,” he said.

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