Updated March 3rd, 2024 at 23:25 IST

Will Resign on March 5: Calcutta HC Judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay Hints At Entering Politics

Calcutta High Court judge Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay said he will resign on Tuesday.

Reported by: Ronit Singh
Will Resign on March 5: Calcutta HC judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay, Hints At Joining Politics | Image:File
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Kolkata: Calcutta High Court judge Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, whose rulings on various education-related issues in the state stirred political debates, said he will resign on Tuesday.

Justice Gangopadhyay declined to comment on whether he intends to enter politics, stating that he would address all media inquiries after submitting his resignation.

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"I will resign from the post of Justice of Calcutta High Court on Tuesday," he told reporters outside his residence here on Sunday.

Justice Gangopadhyay, who is due for retirement later this year, said he will submit his resignation to the President of India in the first hour on Tuesday, with copies sent to the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court.

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He has issued several directives instructing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to probe allegations of irregularities in the recruitment processes of teaching and non-teaching staff in West Bengal government-sponsored and aided schools.

Justice Gangopadhyay, known for his swift directives, occasionally mandating compliance within hours, has garnered appreciation from diverse segments of society, particularly aspiring candidates for school jobs.

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However, his remarks in specific cases have also stirred dissatisfaction among certain leaders of the ruling party in the state.

Following a tussle between his single bench and a division bench of the high court over instituting a CBI probe in an alleged scam in issuing caste certificates to candidates aspiring for reserved category MBBS seats in West Bengal, the Supreme Court had in January intervened and transferred to itself all petitions related to the matter.

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"Tomorrow will be my last day as a judge. I will not hear or adjudicate any matter and will release some cases which have been part-heard in my court," he said.

Justice Gangopadhyay, who was on leave for the past one week owing to personal reasons, said his resignation will be effective from the moment he sends it to the President.

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He said he will answer all queries of journalists at 1.30 pm on Tuesday in front of legendary freedom fighter Masterda Surya Sen's statue in front of the high court buildings after tendering his resignation.

Justice Gangopadhyay, who practised law at the high court, joined the Calcutta High Court as additional judge on May 2, 2018. He was elevated as permanent judge on July 30, 2020, according to data in the high court's website.

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Amid speculations whether he will join politics after resigning, leader of the opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, suggested that it would be prudent to wait for Justice Gangopadhyay to announce his future plans.

"Whether he will join politics or a social organisation or write a book or start an apolitical front to save Bengal is a decision which he will take," he told reporters.

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The BJP MLA from Nandigram said he will react on behalf of the party after Justice Gangopadhyay's resignation is accepted.

TMC leader Kunal Ghosh said, "It is good if such people join politics." In a post on X, Ghosh said, "But whichever party you join, questions will be there on your previous orders and observations." Alleging that some of his observations were against the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, he wrote, "Whichever party you join, there will be allegations of corruption and other things there. Will you be able to accept those then?" Describing Justice Gangopadhyay's decision to resign as personal, senior advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said it will be good if he joins politics.

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"It will, however, be better if he joins politics as an independent and works to organise people against corruption," the CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP told PTI.

Bhattacharya, who has had a longstanding association with Justice Gangopadhyay, asserted that anyone who opposes corruption will stand by him, including the Left parties. 

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(With agency inputs…)

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Published March 3rd, 2024 at 23:25 IST