On Friday the Supreme Court of India refused to entertain a plea filed which sought the removal of Mamta Banerjee from the post of Chief Minister of West Bengal. The Quo Warranto petition was filed due to the remark made by the Chief Minister seeking a referendum with United Nations assistance on the issue of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. The petitioner stated that under Schedule III of the Constitution of India the oath of office mandates the Chief Minister not to make statements against the sovereignty and integrity of India.
The petition was filed by one Varaaki, who is a journalist, on Monday in the Supreme Court of India. In the petition, Varaaki contested that Chief Ministers take oath to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India and they must not make any statement which goes against the sovereignty and integrity of India. It was urged by the petitioner that Mamta Banerjee while make statements such as seeking referendum with the assistance of the United Nations violated her oath in office under Schedule III of the Constitution of India. As a result, the petitioner submitted, that the Trinamool Chief is no longer eligible to hold the post as the Chief Minister of West Bengal and should be asked to show how she is still continuing to stake a claim to the same.
It was on December 19th last year when Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee while addressing a rally at Kolkata’s Rani Rashmoni Avenue, challenged the Modi Government to go for a United Nations monitored referendum on the issue of CAA and NRC. She went on to say that there should be a referendum which is conducted by an impartial organization like the United Nations or the Human Rights Commission, and if the Central Government lost the mass vote regarding the CAA, the Government must step down.
- The Supreme Court refused to entertain the plea on Friday.
- The Court was of the opinion that the plea should be filed before the High Court and not the Supreme Court.
- The Apex Court dismissed the plea with the liberty granted to the petitioner to file the matter before the High Court.
The Supreme Court’s verdict
The petition was placed before the bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice BR Gavai and Justice Surya Kant. The lawyer representing the petitioner urged the Court to take the matter as one of utmost importance. The bench after hearing the plea advised the petitioner to take the matter to the concerned High Court. CJI SA Bobde dismissed the plea saying that the appropriate forum for this particular matter is the High Court and not the Supreme Court.
The CJI stated that “we are not denying that it is something important, but you should go to the High Court”. The bench dismissed the petition with the liberty granted to the petitioner to approach the concerned High Court with the matter, as in the opinion of the Supreme Court the High Court is the appropriate forum where the matter should be heard. The plea was accordingly disposed off by the Supreme Court.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
1. Bar and Bench, https://www.barandbench.com/news/plea-in-sc-seeking-removal-of-mamta-banerjee-from-the-post-of-cm-of-west-bengal (last visited 1st February 2020, 11:29 AM)
2. Live Law, livelaw.in/top-stories/sc-refuses-to-entertain-plea-for-removal-of-mamta-banerjee-as-wb-cm-for-seeking-un-referendum-on-caa-152221?infinitescroll=1 (last visited 1st February 2020, 11:29 AM)