KOLKATA: In a setback to the Mamata Banerjee regime, West Bengal’s Advocate General Jayanta Mitra and Additional Advocate General Lakshmi Gupta have decided to tender their resignations citing differences in opinions with the state government.
This is the third such instance in the six-year regime of the Mamata government when an Advocate General, the principal law officer of the province, has quit the office.
Speaking to the media, Mitra said he found it necessary to step down before things turned bitter. "There were some differences with the state government. Before it turns bitter, I think its better to quit so that the state can go ahead with its policies," he said.
Additional Advocate General Lakshmi Gupta shared Mitra's views on the differences.
"We were a team. The differences on opinions with the state were increasing," Gupta said. While Mitra has tendered his resignation to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Tuesday, Gupta will follow suit on Wednesday.
Sources revealed the state seldom heeded the Advocate General's advices on policies and legal appeals. Despite being advised not to appeal to the Calcutta High Court (HC) for every other case, the state went ahead and knocked the doors of the HC before any other court, sources said.
Mitra was pleading several important cases such as the Narada Scam for the state in the Calcutta HC. As a result, his resignation comes out as a big blow at a time when the divisional bench led by Chief Justice Nishitha Mhatre has called for a CBI probe into the sting.
Mitra and Gupta were appointed on December 17, 2014 after the previous Advocate General Bimal Chattterjee (75) put down his papers citing health grounds.
Chatterjee had replaced Anindya Mitra in May 2011 after the latter quit when the Trinamool Congress came to power.