Banerjee said the judiciary could be bought with money and justice could be manipulated. She also said that she might be jailed on charges of contempt of court but that would not bar her from speaking her mind out. Banerjee took on the judiciary at a seminar organised on the occasion of platinum jubilee of the state assembly.
Jurists and political parties, including the Trinamool's ally in the state government, the Congress, slammed the Chief Minister for the comment. Former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde said it was inappropriate for one constitutional authority to make such remarks over another. He said she could have taken up the matter with the Chief Justice of India. Eminent lawyers like Soli Sorabjee and Harish Salve also reacted sharply to Banerjee's comments. What was the story about cases that Mamata have won in court, Sorabji asked.
The Opposition party, CPI(M) said by slamming the judiciary, Mamata was actually putting pressure on the constitutional authority. In reply to Banerjee's accusation that several commissions were being set up but with no substantial output, Leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra said the CM herself had also set up several commissions in the state.
It may be mentioned that the Bengal human rights commission had asked the state government to pay compensation to a former university professor who was arrested for circulating cartoons lampooning Mamata through mail. Two months earlier, the Trinamool-led government's legislation on Singur land was scrapped by the court.
The Union and state law ministers, Salman Khurshid and Malay Ghatak, however, defended Banerjee.
(With PTI inputs)