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The swearing-in ceremony of seven new judges of the Calcutta High Court had to be deferred by several hours Monday, leading to a blame game as to who was responsible.

While the West Bengal law minister said the delay was caused by the governor not signing the required papers, a senior High Court official said the chief minister had not signed the documents.

“The chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) had signed the papers April 5 and it was the governor (M.K. Narayanan) who had not signed the papers,” claimed Law Minister Moloy Ghatak.

But the High Court official said: “Some of the papers had not been signed by Mamata Banerjee. After getting the due signature, the oath of office was administered by Chief Justice J.N. Patel to the seven new judges.”

Terming the incident as ‘unprecedented, well-known advocate and Congress leader Arunava Ghosh said: “I cannot find any reason as to why she (Banerjee) did not sign the papers. This is unprecedented and unbelievable.”

Of the seven new judges, five have been appointed as permanent judges while the remaining two are additional judges.

The new appointments have increased the strength of judges in the Calcutta High Court to 43.



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