A three-member delegation from the Bar Council of India (BCI) was at Calcutta High Court on Monday to know in detail the incidents in front of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha’s courtroom on January 9.
The team met leaders of the state bar council, Calcutta High Court Bar Association members and the registrar-general of the court, among others.
On January 9, a large number of lawyers affiliated to the Calcutta High Court Bar Association boycotted Justice Rajasekhar Mantha’s courtroom (No. 13) to protest the judge’s alleged bias in favour of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.
The protesting lawyers, many of whom are loyal toTrinamul and are on the state panel, alleged that Justice Mantha had extended “extra favour” to Adhikari and referred to his rulings staying all criminal proceedings against the leader and restraining the state from lodging FIRs against him.
The lawyers also allegedly locked the courtroom from outside and prevented other lawyers from attending proceedings there.
Following the agitation, Justice Mantha issued a suo motu contempt rule against the agitating lawyers and Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava directed the division bench headed by Justice I.P. Mukerji to draw proceedings on the basis of the rule.
The Bar Council of India delegation met Justice Mantha, assistant additional solicitor-general Bilwadal Bhattacharya, advocate-general S.N. Mookherjee and high court Bar association president Arunava Ghosh.
At the meeting between the delegation members and the registrar-general, the state bar council chairman turned up but the registrar-general asked him to leave as he was not invited to the meeting.
The Bar Council of India representatives — Ravindra Kumar Raizada, Ashok Mehta and Bandana Kaur Grover— later told reporters that the registrar-general had not handed them video footage of the incidents.