Supreme Court convenes urgent session on Calcutta High Court Judges’ dispute

The Supreme Court has swiftly organized a special session to address the ongoing conflict among Calcutta High Court judges, emphasizing the urgency of resolving the matter.

The Supreme Court is poised to address a contentious dispute within the Calcutta High Court involving conflicting decisions between a single-judge bench order and a division bench ruling related to a fake caste certificate matter in West Bengal. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud leads a five-judge bench, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, Surya Kant, and Aniruddha Bose, set to convene in a special sitting to deliberate on the case titled “In Re: Orders of Calcutta High Court dated January 24, 2024, and January 25 and Ancillary Issues.”

The discord between the single-judge bench, represented by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, and the division bench led by Justice Soumen Sen revolves around accusations of political bias. Justice Gangopadhyay alleges that Justice Sen, heading the division bench, is acting in favour of a political party in West Bengal, casting doubts on the integrity of the bench’s decisions.

Justice Gangopadhyay’s directive to disregard the division bench’s order and initiate a CBI probe into the fake caste certificate matter adds complexity to the situation. He asserts that Justice Sen’s actions are motivated by political considerations, raising concerns of misconduct and suggesting a need for the Supreme Court’s review.

The underlying case stems from allegations of widespread issuance of fake caste certificates to facilitate admissions to medical courses. On January 24, Justice Gangopadhyay instructed the West Bengal Police to hand over relevant documents to the CBI. However, the division bench, comprising Justice Sen and Uday Kumar, intervened with a stay order on the single judge’s directive.

Subsequent developments on January 25 witnessed a renewed clash between the single-judge bench and the division bench. Justice Gangopadhyay, persisting in his stance, urged the West Bengal Police to provide the necessary paperwork to the CBI. However, the division bench continued to dissent, creating a deepening divide within the Calcutta High Court.

The conflicting decisions and the accusations of political bias have led to a situation where the Supreme Court intervention becomes imperative to resolve the impasse. As the apex court convenes, it faces the task of carefully evaluating the legal intricacies and allegations while ensuring a fair and just resolution to maintain the integrity of the judicial process.