Kolkata: Facing criticism, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday defended her remarks on corruption in judiciary and said she was talking about reforms.
"My speech in the assembly is recorded, you can take a copy of that. I have talked about electoral reforms, judicial reforms and administrative reforms. If talking about our country's drawbacks is a crime, I am ready to commit it a thousand times," an animated Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.
"...I have talked about valueless judiciary. I have never called any judge or lawyer as corrupt. Every field has good and bad people. I have talked about the lack of values in various fields. What is the harm in that?" said Banerjee.
She said that in her speech she not only talked about the lack of values in judiciary but also in politics, the executive and the media.
Banerjee also defended her comments against judicial commissions, saying: "There are so many commissions and everyday the high officials are being summoned and they spend time answering their questions. When will the administration work if the officers spend time before the commissions?"
Commenting about the Calcutta High Court admitting a contempt petition filed against her, Banerjee said she was happy at the move and would accept the court's decision.
"I am very happy that you people have helped in filing a case against me. I am bound to accept whatever the court decides. But don't forget that I am also a lawyer and will put out strong points whenever I get a chance," said a seemingly angry Banerjee.
Speaking on the occasion of the assembly's platinum jubilee celebrations Tuesday, Banerjee alleged corruption among a section of the judiciary.
Her comment on the judiciary came a day after the state human rights commission slapped a Rs.50,000 fine on police for arresting a Jadavpur University professor, Ambikesh Mahapatra, in April for circulating e-mails containing cartoons on the chief minister and other Trinamool Congress leaders.
The chief minister's allegations drew criticism from all quarters, including lawyers and former judges.