I Re­signed to Keep My Spine Firm, Says Ben­gal’s For­mer AG

Mi­tra says he couldn’t ac­cept cer­tain ‘re­quests’ which were po­lit­i­cal in na­ture

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Mad­hu­parna.Das @times­group.com

Kolkata: Jayanta Mi­tra, the for­mer ad­vo­cate-gen­eral of West Ben­gal, said he re­signed from his post “to keep his spine firm and straight”. In an in­ter­view with ET, the vet­eran lawyer said he could not ac­cept cer­tain “re­quests” which were highly po­lit­i­cal in na­ture and vi­ola­tive of the le­gal frame­work. He. How­ever, re­fused to give de­tails of the cases that spurred his de­ci­sion. Mi­tra, who stepped down from the post ear­lier this month cit­ing “dif­fer­ence of opin­ion” with the Tri­namool Congress gov­ern­ment, had ear­lier re­signed in May last year but was re­in­stated a month later.

He is the third ad­vo­cate-gen­eral of West Ben­gal to have re­signed in the last six years. “I could not com­pro­mise with my con­science. I have to an­swer to my­self and I have to do this through the law. So, I thought it was high time for me to leave,” Mi­tra told ET, sit­ting in his cham­ber in south Kolkata. “More­over, I should leave space for a new per­son who can prob­a­bly de­liver things ac­cord­ing to their wish.”

How­ever, a source close to Mi­tra claimed he was “asked” to re­sign. Chief Min­is­ter Ma­mata Ban­er­jee had re­futed Mi­tra’s al­le­ga­tions. “There has been no dif­fer­ence of opin­ion with the gov­ern­ment. He wanted to re­sign last year only, though the gov­ern­ment asked him to con­tinue,” Ban­er­jee said a day af­ter Mi­tra re­signed.

The vet­eran lawyer said it had been a “mis­un­der­stand­ing” on the part of the gov­ern­ment and that he was “re-ap­pointed” by the new gov­ern­ment that was sworn in in 2016.

“Since I don’t want to use a strong word against the gov­ern­ment, I would say it was mis­un­der­stand­ing on the part of the gov­ern­ment. For pro­pri­ety’s sake, I had to re­sign when the gov­ern­ment com­pletes its term and the new gov­ern­ment is sworn in,” said Mi­tra. “It might be the same party that came in power, but, ac­cord­ing to the con­sti­tu­tion, it is the new gov­ern­ment in the state. So, as the ad­vo­cate-gen­eral of the state, I had to re­sign and give the gov­ern­ment a scope to choose a new per­son or re-in­duct me. The new gov­ern­ment re-ap­pointed me.” Mi­tra served the gov­ern­ment for two years and two months. He claimed that dur­ing his ten­ure, he had met the chief min­is­ter once.

NO COM­PRO­MISE I could not com­pro­mise with my con­science. I have to an­swer to my­self and I have to do this through the law. So, I thought it was high time for me to leave JAYANTAMITRA For­mer ad­vo­cate-gen­eral , West Ben­gal

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