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
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