Calcutta HC declined a plea to initiate suo moto proceedings against Advocate General for purportedly ‘misleading the Court’ by making an incorrect Averment on ground of Bonafide Mistake

The Calcutta High Court in the case of Pratap Banerjee Vs. State Of West Bengal & Ors. declined a plea to initiate suo moto proceedings against Advocate General for purportedly ‘misleading the Court’ by making an incorrect averment on ground of bonafide mistake.

The State has sought the modification of the Order of December 2021 by stating that the Advocate General had made the statement on the basis of misunderstanding of instructions given to him. It has been clarified that the Bally Municipality has been constituted as per the provisions of West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993 after exclusion of part of area from Howrah Municipal Corporation by passing a resolution in West Bengal Legislative Assembly in terms of Section 219 (3) of the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act, 1980. The West Bengal Legislative Assembly has adopted a resolution in this regard and Schedule 1 (Schedule) of the Act has been amended accordingly by issuing the notification, but Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2021 relating to Amendment of Clause (a) of Sub-Section (1) and SubSection (2) of Section 5 of the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act, 1980 is pending before the Hon’ble Governor for his consideration under Article 200 of the Constitution of India and the assent of the Hon’ble Governor has not been received.  

The division bench of  Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Kesang Doma Bhutia noted that Advocate General had tendered unconditional apology for making an incorrect statement before the Court in December 2021. He contended that the incorrect statement was made before this Court because of some misunderstanding of instructions on his part.

The court accepted the unconditional apology tendered by the Advocate General and by allowing the CAN modified the part of the Order of December 2021. 

The court took the fact on record that the assent of the Governor in the Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 is awaited.

The court held that a bona fide mistake of making an incorrect statement was made by the Advocate General, it is not inclined to initiate the suo moto proceedings against the Advocate General or any other authority.     

Click Here To Read Original Order/judgement

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