Conflict of interest: AG told not to represent Bengal in school job case by Justice Sinha


Kolkata, Jan 10 (IANS) West Bengal Advocate General, Kishore Datta, cannot appear on behalf of the state government in the cash for school job case as he has already taken the brief of Sujay Krishna Bhadra, a prime accused in the same case. Justice Amrita Sinha said on Wednesday.

The development took place after Justice Amrita Sinha, while hearing a matter related to the school job case, asked the Advocate General whether he was appearing on behalf of any accused in the same case.

When the Advocate General informed the court that he was appearing on behalf of Bhadra at a different Bench of the Calcutta High Court, Justice Sinha questioned how the same counsel could appear on behalf of the state and the accused in the same case. She also observed that this phenomenon can create a conflict of interest and for the sake of transparency, the Advocate General should refrain from representing the state in the school job case.

According to experts in legal circles since the time Kishore Datta took the brief on behalf of Bhadra while being the Advocate General at the same time, they had doubts that someday or the other this question of “conflict of interest” might surface.

“That happened on Wednesday,” said a senior counsel of the Calcutta High Court who did not wish to be named.

On Wednesday, Justice Sinha also observed that the investigation in the school job case appears to be a never-ending process, the future of the candidates was becoming uncertain with every passing day since.

She also advised the state government to take the initiative to come out with a solution by initiating a discussion of its counsel with the counsels of the petitioners.

The next hearing in the matter at her Bench will be on February 6 and Justice Sinha directed all the parties to be present at the court on that day.



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