A High Court judge since May 2018, Justice Gangopadhyay has sparked rows by ignoring orders of larger Benches, giving an interview to a television channel, and issuing directions to the Supreme Court registry.

The Controversial Journey of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay: Calcutta HC Judge and Trinamool Government’s Adversary

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Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, whose tumultuous tenure at the Calcutta High Court has been marked by clashes with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government, announced his resignation from the judiciary on Sunday. His decision comes amidst ongoing confrontations and judicial disputes, revealing the intricate relationship between the judiciary and the state’s political landscape.

Having served as a High Court judge since May 2018, Justice Gangopadhyay’s confrontational approach often brought him into the spotlight. He made headlines in January when he accused a fellow High Court judge of aligning with a political party in the state, leading to a contentious altercation with the state Advocate General.

Hinting at a potential entry into electoral politics, Justice Gangopadhyay revealed his resignation plans, intending to address inquiries on Tuesday. His tenure has been characterized by clashes with the Trinamool government, manifesting in instances where he ignored orders from larger Benches, engaged in televised interviews, and issued directives to the Supreme Court registry.

Since 2022, Justice Gangopadhyay spearheaded investigations into the alleged school jobs scam in West Bengal, ordering probes by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED). His orders, including the termination of over 32,000 teacher appointments, triggered both praise from school job aspirants and criticism from political quarters.

In September 2022, Justice Gangopadhyay’s interview with a Bengali news channel, where he questioned the finances of TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, drew attention from the Supreme Court. The apex court disapproved of sitting judges granting interviews, prompting a reassignment of related cases.

Following a confrontation with another High Court judge over the handling of MBBS admission irregularities, Justice Gangopadhyay ordered a probe by the CBI, raising further controversy. His insistence on investigating sensitive cases and clashes with state officials intensified the political atmosphere in West Bengal.

Despite his combative stance against the Trinamool government, Justice Gangopadhyay’s actions resonated with those demanding accountability and transparency in governance. His moniker “Aranyadeb (Phantom)” reflected both admiration and skepticism, underscoring the complexities of judicial activism in a politically charged environment.

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay’s journey from a Bengali-medium school in Kolkata to the corridors of the Calcutta High Court represents a tumultuous chapter in the state’s legal history. His resignation leaves behind a legacy of judicial activism and political friction, shaping the discourse surrounding law and governance in West Bengal.

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