Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Crime-Justice

Bengal continues to operate without permanent advocate general

IANS | December 10, 2023 12:22 PM

KOLKATA: Exactly a month has passed since the last advocate general (AG) of West Bengal had resigned from his chair and the state government is yet to announce or even finalize his replacement.

The earlier advocate general S.N. Mukhopadhyay tendered his resignation through an email from UK on November 10 to the state Governor C.V. Ananda Bose. Since then the state government had not made any visible progress in finalizing a replacement.

There the question is floating around in the legal circles of the state on whether no senior advocate is willing to accept the chair in the backdrop of the experiences of the previous advocate generals during the current Trinamool Congress regime where interference from the ruling party circles became hurdles for their independent functioning.

Such questions within the legal circles of the state are being complemented by the statistics of sudden resignations of all the five advocate generals during the 13-year rule of Trinamool Congress in West Bengal starting with Anindya Mitra, followed by Bimal Chatterjee, Jayanta Mitra, Kishore Dutta and finally S.N. Mukhopadhyay.

The figure is a study in contrast to that during the previous Left Front regime where there were just three advocate generals during the 35-year long regime. They were Snehangshu Kanta Acharya, Naranarayn Gooptu and Balia Roy. Except after the demise of Acharya, the first advocate general in the Left Front regime, Sadhan Gupta was briefly appointed as the additional advocate general during the interim period before Gooptu took over.

Legal circles feel that a state government running the affairs without a permanent advocate general does not portray a good picture about the state. “An advocate general is like the head-of-the- department for any subject in any university. So currently the crucial legal department in West Bengal is running without the head-of-the-department. If this continues for long the repercussions will be alarming for the state government, ” said senior counsel of the Calcutta High Court, Kaushik Gupta.

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