Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay’s order on Wednesday that Sukanya Mondal, daughter of arrested Trinamul leader Anubrata Mondal, and five others appear before him with their Teachers’ Eligibility Test certificates and letters of appointment in primary schools was withdrawn on Thursday.
The high court judge had tasked the Birbhum superintendent of police to ensure their presence in his court at 3pm on Thursday in connection with alleged irregularities in their appointments.
All of them — Sukanya and Anubrata’s brother, nephew, former personal assistant and two other relatives — arrived on time but did not get a chance to produce their papers.
Court sources who refused to be named said the judge withdrew his order because the allegations made in the petition, based on which Wednesday’s directive was issued, were found baseless.
TV footage showed people calling Anubrata’s daughter “thief” and a “cow thief’s daughter” while she was walking towards the courtroom.
She had to enter the room through a rear door. Anubrata is in CBI custody for his alleged involvement in cattle smuggling.
The case on Sukanya would have dragged Anubrata’s name in the case related to alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teachers and other staff for government-aided schools.
The recruitment case was based on two petitions. One of the petitioners, Soumen Nandi, moved an additional petition on Wednesday saying Sukanya and the five others got teaching jobs at Kalikapur Primary School in Birbhum without scoring the requisite marks in the eligibility test.
Justice Gangopadhyay on Thursday rejected the additional petition. As a result, the order passed by the judge on that petition became infructuous.
Anubrata told reporters on Thursday morning that his daughter had the papers the court had sought. In court, a section of lawyers said Justice Gangopadhyay should give Sukanya and the others the opportunity to submit their certificates and appointment letters as directed by the judge earlier.
Even though videography or photography is not permitted on the high court premises unless allowed, Justice Gangopadhyay on Thursday verbally allowed journalists in his courtroom to videograph the proceedings if they wanted.
The judge said the journalists would not be allowed to live-stream the proceedings but there was no bar on playing footage later.
Some lawyers, known to be members of Trinamul’s legal cell, protested the decision.
“The formal order on Thursday makes no mention of the permission for videography,” a lawyer said.
Some lawyers later said a plan was afoot to move a case against the judge who, according to them, has “repeatedly violated the law by not giving an opportunity to the accused to defend themselves”, by filing affidavits for example, before taking penal action against them.