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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Calcutta High Court Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal to ask that her petition challenging the election of BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari re-assigned to a different court. Currently, Justice Kaushik Chanda has been hearing the matter.

A letter written by Banerjee’s lawyer on her behalf is delivered to the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High court on June 16. In the letter, Mamata Banerjee has outlined two reasons to support her request for re-assignment of the case.

“My client has filed the Election Petition challenging the election of Suvendu Adhikari, a member of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). My client has been made aware that the Hon’ble Justice Kaushik Chanda was an active member of the BJP,” the letter stated.

“In the event, the Hon’ble Judge takes up the Election Petition there will be a reasonable apprehension in my client’s mind of bias on the part of the Hon’ble Judge in favor of the Respondent and/or against my client,” the letter further read.

Also Read: Nandigram Battle: WB CM Mamata Banerjee moves HC over BJP’s Suvendhu Adhikari’s win

Banerjee also said that she ‘reasonably apprehends likelihood of bias’ because earlier, she had objected to Justice Chanda’s confirmation as a permanent Judge at High Court. The letter stated, “My client apprehends that the Hon’ble judge is aware of the objections and reasonably apprehends that there is a likelihood of bias on the part of the Hon’ble judge,” 

Today, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien also raised questions about Justice Chanda. He shared an undated photograph on Twitter that appeared to show Justice Chanda at a meeting of the BJP’s legal cell. In another tweet, he listed several cases in which Justice Chanda as a practicing lawyer before he became a Judge in 2019-represented the BJP.

Meanwhile, Trinamool’s spokesperson, Kunal Ghosh said that Justice Chanda ‘likely may have a soft spot for BJP unconsciously and perhaps he should leave this case.’

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