HC imposes penalty on advocate for filing groundless PIL on Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly's removal from the chair of BCCI president created a massive political slugfest in West Bengal, with state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself describing the decision as a political vendetta.
Calcutta High Court; Sourav Ganguly
Calcutta High Court; Sourav GangulyFile

KOLKATA: A division bench of Calcutta High Court on Monday imposed a penalty on an advocate of the same court for filing a groundless public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the removal of former Indian cricket team captain, Sourav Ganguly from the chair of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president.

Advocate Ramaprasad Sarkar, who filed the PIL claiming that the removal of Ganguly from the chair of the BCCI president was a political conspiracy, was initially slapped by a penalty of Rs 1,00,000 by the division bench of Calcutta High Court's Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj. However, following the appeal from the petitioner on this count, the penalty amount was later reduced to Rs 25,000.

The division bench has directed the petitioner to submit the penalty amount with the State Legal Services Authority at the earliest.

On Monday, Ganguly's counsel was present at the court, who said that his client has no objection to Roger Binny succeeding him in the chair of BCCI president.

"As per rules, my client has completed his term for three years as BCCI president. He has been successful in his tenure there," Ganguly's counsel said.

Thereafter, the Chief Justice bench questioned whether the appointment of Roger Binny as the new BCCI election was done through elections.

In reply, Ganguly's counsel said that Roger Binny's appointment was done through elections and his client did not file nomination for the same. "So Roger Binny was elected unopposed and Sourav Ganguly has full support towards him,' Ganguly's counsel said.

After that the division bench observed that since the person concerned about whom the PIL was filed does not have any problem with the entire issue, the PIL does not stand any merit. Thereafter, the Chief Justice first asked Ganguly counsel whether his client intends that the petitioner in the matter be slapped with a penalty.

Although Ganguly's counsel replied in negative, the division bench imposed a penalty of Rs 1,00,000 on the petitioner which was later reduced to Rs 25,000.

Sourav Ganguly's removal from the chair of BCCI president created a massive political slugfest in West Bengal, with state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself describing the decision as a political vendetta.

BJP leadership, on the other hand, questioned why the chief minister made superstar Shah Rukh Khan as the "Brand Ambassador of West Bengal," instead of Ganguly.

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