“Resigned Because…”: Ex Calcutta High Court Judge, To Join BJP, Explains

Former Calcutta High Court judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay will join the BJP (File).

New Delhi:

There is no impropriety in a sitting High Court judge resigning and joining a political party, former judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay insisted to NDTV today in an exclusive interview.

Mr Gangopadhyay – who made headlines with his rulings and has had run-ins with lawyers, judges, and senior leaders from Bengal’s ruling Trinamool – quit the Calcutta High Court Tuesday afternoon.

Hours later he confirmed what was known – he will join the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

This evening he told NDTV his swift career change had been triggered by “insulting remarks from Trinamool persons… when I was discovering huge corruption and trying to justice”.

“My resignation is the result of insulting remarks by Trinamool persons against me… when I was trying to do justice as I was exploring and discovering huge corruption in education appointments – school teachers and employees in different schools – in the state,” Mr Gangopadhyay said.

“When I passed orders for the CBI to investigate, they started making insulting comments against me… not the judgement, but personal attacks,” he continued, attacking his critics. “These Trinamool people are almost half-educated… do not know what to say to a judge, but they challenged me.”

“They challenged me to come to politics,” he said, “So I started thinking… I got some impetus from them. So now the time has come to stand beside large number of helpless people of our state.”

READ | Calcutta High Court Judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay Resigns, To Join BJP

Mr Gangopadhyay was pressed on the question of propriety; it was pointed to him that it was unprecedented for a sitting judge to resign and immediately join a political party, particularly when several of his rulings seemed to side against that party’s apparent rival, i.e., the Trinamool.

“No. Not at all. What bad precedent? No… this is Trinamool persons trying to get out of facing corruption charges by raising this question, when they know many leaders, some in jail and some who will be arrested, will be convicted. These are worthless, meaningless questions.”

Mr Gangopadhyay also laughed off questions from political and legal analysts, declaring, “Tell analysts to gain knowledge about politics and legal theories…”

READ | From Courts To Votes: Abhijit Gangopadhyay And His Controversies

He said talks with the BJP had begun “recently… only three-four days (ago)”, and stressed, “From the time I started thinking about politics I have not done any adjudication. I took leave from my court and, thereafter, I resigned,” he explained. Mr Gangopadhyay is expected to join the BJP on Thursday.

He told NDTV he had decided to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party because it is a “good platform in Bengal, when no other parties have influence… even CPM or Congress. BJP has potential and is raising some issues that will go hand-in-hand with people of Bengal.”

The former judge did not, however, comment on speculation he could get a Lok Sabha ticket.

There has been talk he could be fielded from the Tamluk constituency, which has been won by the Trinamool in each of the past three elections. “Question of Lok Sabha seat will be decided by the party. I didn’t join for election and I have no business in making these comments,” he said.

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