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West Bengal AG Quits Saying He Was Asked to Bend the Law

File photo of the Calcutta HC

New Delhi: Jayanta Mitra, who resigned as the Advocate General of West Bengal on Tuesday, has told News18 that he was quitting as the state’s top legal officer because he was not someone “who is in favour of bending the law”.

“There are things and situations when I have advised that doing a certain thing may not be legal, but then I was asked to work around it. I am not someone who is favour of bending the law. Such differences were happening more than often and had started accumulating between us, and hence I decided to quit respectfully,” the senior advocate said.

Mitra has been the state Advocate General for two years. He had earlier resigned from his post on May 19, 2016, but was reappointed as the AG next month.

“In the last two years I have handled several high profile cases as I was the Advocate General. When you work with several high profile clients there are bound to be differences of opinion. Though I am not entitled to disclose exact details as it is a matter between the advocate and his client but I can say that the differences of opinion were regarding employment of people, discharge of employees, what the government could have done in situation of emergencies and crisis control scenarios,” Mitra said.

“There cannot be any clash of interest. Maybe it was a clash of ego but my ego is too small,” he said.

Mitra is an economics graduate from Kolkata’s Presidency College, and studied at the London School of Economics. After he acquired a law degree from the London University, he became a barrister from Middle Temple in 1963. He eventually joined the Calcutta bar and subsequently became a senior advocate in 1987.