Furore over appointment of Gautam Debnath to the post of law secretary and legal remembrancer, CS to give a note to CM

By Our Correspondent

Agartala, Aug 13, 2019: The appointment of former district judge and,subsequently,director of Tripura Judicial Academy, Gautam Debnath to the post of Law Secretary and Legal Remembrancer has sparked a massive furore with the chief secretary U.Vankatswarulu deciding to apprise the chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb of the shady background of Gautam Debnath . Recently the state government had removed the Principal Secretary , Law Datamohan Jamatya from the post of law secretary and replaced him with Gautam Debnath upon recommendation from the high court. Sources said that as a rule the High Court forwards a panel of names of three judicial officers for appointment in such cases for the state government to pick one from the list provided but this time only Gautam Debnath's name was provided.

But now the proposed appointment has triggered a major controversy as Gautam Debnath , almost universally unpopular with judicial officers and even lawyers during his tenure as magistrate and judges, was once accused of mouthing racist slurs against a fellow tribal officer, Jeshthamani Murasingh and mildly punished.According to a notification issued by the high court of Tripura on July 1,2016 disciplinary proceedings had been initiated and charges framed against Gautam Debnath when he was district and session judge of North Tripura. On  that day Debnath had visited the official residence of his colleague and assistant session judge (North Tripura) Jeshthamani Murasing on midday between 1-00 PM and 2.15 PM. Having consumed alocohol in Murasingh's house during court working  hours , Gautam Debnath got tipsy and dark sentiments from the inner recesses of his mind came blurtingly out . "You bloody snub-nosed Tipra , tumi amar lumba chhirba (you will tear only my hairs down below)" , Gautam Debnath had roared at Murasingh in vile abuse. He had also earlier been accused of having recorded a false statement in the court’s case on August 1 2014 as district and session judge.

Finally the full bench of the high court of Tripura in its resolution on June 28 2016 had meted out punishment to Gautam Debnath by withholding three of his annual increments . His abusive comments based on racial slur against Jeshthamani Murasingh could be taken up with and be punished by provisions of SC ST atrocities act but neither the petitioner Jeshthamani Murasingh, nor the high court and not even the state government took up the issue with the national SC ST commission as an act of atrocity. Since information on the  vile acts of Gautam Debnath and the punishment meted out to him have now stormed the public domain a section of peoples representatives have decided to approach the chief minister with a plea not to appoint him as Law Secretary and Legal Remembrancer.    


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