The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a verbal prayer by a lawyer seeking initiation of suo motu contempt proceedings against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for allegedly commenting on sending arrested minister Partha Chatterjee to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar.
The court's backbone is not soft and it will not be affected by any comment made outside, Justice Bibek Chaudhuri remarked verbally. Lawyer Tarun Jyoti Tiwari moved the verbal prayer before Justice Chaudhuri, who on Sunday directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to take Chatterjee to the healthcare facility in Odisha for a medical check-up.
The high court made the order after hearing pleadings in a revision application moved by the ED challenging a lower court order sending Chatterjee to state-run SSKM Hospital after his lawyers claimed he was ill. The judge had also made some scathing observations on the Kolkata hospital.
At a programme on Monday, the chief minister allegedly made some comments on Chatterjee being sent to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar. Refusing the prayer for initiating suo motu contempt proceedings against the CM for allegedly commenting on sending Chatterjee to that hospital, Justice Chaudhuri verbally said that the court is not perturbed by anything happening outside it.
The judge said that he is concerned with the merits of a case and nothing other than that. Stating that he believes in transparency and neutrality, the judge said that he sleeps well every night.
Observing that the experience of the common man with regard to the role of the doctors attached to SSKM Hospital is not happy, Justice Chaudhuri had said that in the recent past, more than one high-ranking political leader belonging to the ruling party who were arrested or directed to appear before the investigating authority for interrogation successfully avoided the questioning by taking shelter in this hospital.
Chatterjee was arrested by the ED on Saturday in connection with its investigation into irregularities in the recruitment drives by the School Service Commission (SSC). The senior Trinamool Congress leader held the education portfolio when the alleged appointment scam took place.
As per the court order, Chatterjee was on Monday morning flown to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar by an air ambulance. He was taken back to Kolkata on Tuesday morning.
(With PTI inputs)