Earlier, the party’s Members of Parliament had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for removing Mr. Mehta over his reported meeting with West Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.
A delegation of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs met President Ram Nath Kovind and sought the removal of Tushar Mehta as the Solicitor General of India, on the grounds of “criminal misconduct” and “gross impropriety” following his meeting with BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari.
Mr. Adhikari who switched from TMC to BJP ahead of the assembly elections is an accused in the 2016 Narada tapes case, and Mr. Mehta is representing the CBI in the Supreme Court and the Calcutta High Court in the agency’s probe against senior TMC leaders in the matter.
After the allegations surfaced, Mr. Mehta had clarified that though Mr. Adhikari came to his residence, he declined to meet him.
TMC MPs Sukhendu Sekhar Ray and Mahua Moitra also submitted a memorandum to the president.
“Such a meeting, between one of the highest serving law officers of India, the solicitor general, who is also appointed as the Special Public Prosecutor for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and an accused person being investigated by the same agency, raises extremely serious doubts of impropriety,” the memorandum said.
Speaking to the reporters after the meeting Ms Moitra said that Mr Mehta’s clarification is untenable. One can not just saunter in to solicitor general of India’s residence like you dropping in to see a friend, Ms Moitra said.
Mr Mehta in his clarification claimed that Mr Adhikari was seated in his waiting room and when he was informed about his visit he “apologised” and conveyed through his staff his inability to meet him. “It is news for us and people of India that the solicitor general has to apologise to an accused for not meeting him,” Ms Moitra said. She added that if Mr Mehta’s story is indeed correct then why doesn’t he release the CCTV footage of his house.
“This is not just issue that affects TMC. Mr Mehta holds the post of second highest law officer of the country. We will not let this matter be swept under the carpet,” she added.
The TMC memorandum also seeks to draw a connection between Mr Adhikari visit to Home Minister Amit Shah which was publicized by the BJP and his visit to Mr Mehta.
“To make matters worse, this meeting took place subsequent to an equally improper meeting between Adhikari and the Home Minister of India, Amit Shah. Notably, Adhikari is an accused in various criminal cases of cheating, illegal gratification, and bribery etc,” the memorandum said.
Such meetings make a total mockery of the criminal justice system and would only serve to destroy the common man’s faith in the judiciary, it said.
“We, therefore, have reasons to believe that such a meeting has been organised to influence the outcome of criminal cases where Adhikari is an accused person, using the high offices of the solicitor general. We state that the act of the solicitor general to provide an opportunity of an audience to Suvendu Adhikari not only indicative of grave impropriety but also raises troubling doubts about his professional integrity,” the TMC alleged.
The party demanded that Mehta’s conduct be investigated and pending such inquiry, he must tender his resignation.
“The sanctity of the office of the Solicitor General of India cannot be seen to be compromised. Public interest, integrity and neutrality of the office of the Solicitor General of India are required to be protected at all costs required be protected at all costs,” it said.
“We, therefore, approach Your Excellency (the president) to initiate necessary steps for the removal of Tushar Mehta from the post of the Solicitor General of India to uphold India’s Constitutional values,” TMC said.