Calcutta high court – Lawyers questioning a Calcutta high court judge’s order granting BJP legislator Suvendu Adhikari “blanket protection” from arrest on Monday blocked access to his courtroom for around 90 minutes, calling him a “disgrace” and forcing even Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava to leave the premises until the commotion died down.

The build-up to the demonstration against Justice Rajasekhar Mantha in the high court, which began at 10.30 a.m., had begun in south Kolkata’s Jodhpur Park neighbourhood, with posters appearing along a row of 30 houses heading to the judge’s door. “Where is the justice, my lord?” questioned one of the posters. “It’s a shame,” said another.

The ongoing blockade of Justice Mantha’s assigned courtroom 13 prompted Chief Justice Shrivastava and four senior colleagues to invite bar association president Arunava Ghosh to a meeting. “The court ruled that the blocking amounted to criminal contempt,” Ghosh subsequently explained. “Such behaviours are not sanctioned by the association.

I requested the CJ to take whatever action he saw fit “He stated. The lawyers who were protesting rejected Chief Justice Shrivastava’s 11.30 a.m. ultimatum to cease the uproar, requesting that Justice Mantha be freed of the cases he had been overseeing recently. The judge’s December 8 decision directing the police not to record any FIR against Adhikari without the court’s authorization was the immediate cause of the turmoil on the court grounds.

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By Brijpal Singh

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