KOLKATA: The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal received yet another setback from the judiciary as the Calcutta High Court on Monday directed a court-monitored CID probe registration of an FIR against TMC MP Tapas Pal for his ‘hate speeches’ and severely criticised the State police for not taking any action.
Justice Dipanakar Datta rejected all arguments presented by the government lawyer and in his interim order asked the DG, West Bengal police to convert all complaints against the erring MP as FIRs and conduct a CID-led probe, which would be monitored by the court.
He set a time limit and directed that the CID report to be submitted before the court by September 1.
Hearing the PIL against Tapas Pal for speeches on June 14 in which he instigated TMC workers to kill Opposition party workers and said, “I will send my boys to rape their women”, Justice Datta observed, “Those who are lawmakers are violating the law, which will have far reaching consequences. It is unhealthy for Indian democracy and the society.”
He pointed out to the government lawyer that Tapas Pal’s own lawyer had admitted his client’s crime before the same court and asked him on what grounds was he trying to defend the MP.
Rapping the State police for not initiating any action against Pal, Justice Datta remarked, “Shrugging off the MP’s speech merely as an emotional outburst will be tantamount to miscarriage of justice. He was a film actor but elected to the Parliament twice. He is an idol for many and his hate speech could have provoked his followers to commit crimes.”
As his speech snowballed into a huge controversy all over the country and women activist groups demanded his arrest, Pal, in a letter to the TMC leadership tendered an “unconditional apology” stating that he had delivered those speeches “in the heat and dust during the Lok Sabha election campaign”.
Two days after the video was telecast, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said, “This is a conspiracy at an opportune time to help the BJP and the CPI(M) before the municipal elections to discredit us by some media houses. They have a lot of money and deploy people to videograph our party meetings by giving them cash.”
She went on to add, “Tapas has tendered a public apology. What more can I do? Should I kill him?” Pal was instructed to skip the present session of the Lok Sabha and he got himself admitted to a private hospital with “lower back pain” and is now resting at home.
The Opposition is upbeat as DIG CID Damayanti Sen, who will be conducting the investigation, was the same lady IPS officer who had cracked the Park Street gangrape case in 2012.
RED FACED After RAPE THREAT
June 30: Video emerges where Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal (in pic) is seen threatening CPM women with rape and violence
July 1: Ruckus in Parliament, CPM demands disqualification of the actor-turned-MP
July 2: Trinamool condemns statement, gets Pal to apologise
July 9: Writ petition filed in Calcutta High Court, which asks West Bengal govt to spell out stand on Pal’s video
July 25: Supreme Court declines to entertain PIL by advocate Bijayan Ghosh seeking CBI probe, asks him to approach HC
July 28: Calcutta HC asks police to treat Chowdhury’s complaint as an FIR, directs CID to investigate and submit a report by Sept 1