Mitra quits as AG, replaced by ex-chief of TMC legal cell

The West Bengal government's Advocate General Anindya Mitra resigned today. He gave no official reason for the sudden move.

The state government accepted the resignation and replaced Mitra — an eminent barrister — with another barrister Bimal Chatterjee, who has long been associated with the Trinamool Congress.

Legal circles described the new Advocate General as a "political appointee" on whom the Chief Minister could rely on, given his sound track record as a legal eagle and years of practice in the Calcutta High Court.

Law Minister Chandrima Bhattacharjee today announced at Writers' Buildings that Mitra had tendered his resignation without giving any reason and the government had accepted it. At 3 pm, Bhattacharjee announced the appointment of the new Advocate General. At that time, Mitra was in the court room of Chief Justice Arun Mishra.

Chatterjee said that he was called to Writers' Buildings at noon, when Mamata offered him the post of Advocate General. After a discussion with the CM, Chatterjee accepted, he said.

Chatterjee, a bar-at-law from Lincoln's Inn, joined the legal profession in 1972. He was also the chairman of the Trinamool Congress Legal Cell and had contested the election of the Bar Council from the panel of the Trinamool Congress. He told reporters that it would be his endeavour to advise people to settle disputes outside court.

It is learnt that the offer for the post came to Chatterjee more than a month ago as Mitra had on several occasions expressed his desire not to continue as Advocate General. However, Mamata had requested that Mitra continue.

In mid-2012, the state government faced a setback in the Calcutta High Court when it lost the Singur land acqusition amendment case, following which Mitra reportedly expressed his desire to resign. He did not attend the high court for several months on health grounds.

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