01 October, 2020

Just A Judge On The Job

He's not the 'Communist' the BJP is suggesting he is

Just A Judge On The Job
A typical Bengali bhadralok, Justice U.C. Banerjee has a reputation for being very correct. But the man who began his legal career as a junior of Somnath Chatterjee, the present Speaker of the Lok Sabha, is not the "communist" the BJP has been suggesting he is, he's an old-world liberal. On the Calcutta bench, he was reputed to be a hands-on pragmatist. As the presiding judge of the environment bench, he'd personally visit morgues and polluting foundries before delivering his judgements. Says environment activist Subhas Dutta, "We're grateful for some judgements he delivered on PILs."

In 1998, Banerjee was appointed chief justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. He kept a low profile when he shifted to the Supreme Court. But his connection with the Railways began when he was asked to look into the 1999 Gaisal train disaster when the Awadh-Assam Express and the Brahmaputra Mail collided, killing 300 people.

Rail Bhawan officials say Banerjee never met Laloo but that his name was recommended by law minister H.R. Bharadwaj. He was first given an office in Rail Bhawan...


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