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Calcutta High Court starts hearing petition by Bidhannagar mayor Sabyasachi Dutta

Dutta has challenged the legality of a no-confidence motion moved against him

By Our Legal Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 16.07.19, 4:29 AM
  • Updated 16.07.19, 4:29 AM
  • a min read
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Sabyasachi Dutta (The Telegraph file picture)

The high court on Monday started hearing on Bidhannagar mayor Sabyasachi Dutta’s petition that challenged the legality of a no-confidence motion moved against him allegedly by some councillors of the municipal corporation.

Justice Samapti Chatterjee asked the mayor to serve a notice on the corporation’s chairperson Krishna Chakrabarty asking her to take part in the case and said the hearing would continue on Tuesday.

Moving the petition on behalf of Dutta, senior advocate and former Calcutta mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya said the Trinamul government had violated municipal rules while trying to remove his client from his post and arbitrarily issued the notice of no-confidence motion against him.

“The petitioner (Dutta) had taken several steps against the people engaged in unauthorised constructions and filling of wetlands in and around Bidhannagar. Hence, some people close to a section of senior leaders of the ruling party became his enemies. My client had repeatedly informed the urban development minister Firhad Hakim but no action was taken against the culprits,” Bhattacharyya said.

Bhattacharyya said only the chairperson of a municipal corporation could issue a notification on a no-trust motion. “A person called Surajit Ghosh has issued the notification on behalf of the commissioner of the (Bidhannagar municipal) corporation, who is on leave at present,” said the lawyer.

Sources said Ghosh had been appointed the deputy commissioner of the civic body just before the issuance of the non-confidence notice.

Bhattacharyya asked the court to quash the notification.

Advocate general Kishore Dutta claimed the notification of the no-confidence motion had been issued in accordance with municipal rules. “The commissioner of the corporation has the authority to issue a no-confidence motion notice,” he said.

The AG said the petition should not be maintained by the court as he did not make councillors parties to the case.

“The councillors of the corporation had demanded a no-confidence motion against the petitioner. So, the deputy commissioner issued the notice. Hence, the councillors should also be made parties to the case,” the AG said.

Bhattacharyya then said: “The petitioner still does not know which councillors moved the no-confidence motion. How can he make them parties to the case. The petitioner should know the names of those councillors. He should be given a chance to talk to them and ask them about the reasons behind their lack of confidence in him.”