KOLKATA: It was a black Wednesday for the ruling TMC and West Bengal government as two Division Benches of the Calcutta High Court turned down petitions filed by the government lawyers in connection with party MP Tapas Pal’s hate speech case.
In another instance, lashing out at the erring MP, a section of the TMC revolted against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The counsels first moved a Division Bench headed by Justice Pranab Chatterjee and Justice Somapti Chaterjee but their petition was turned down, stating that they had no jurisdiction over the matter.
Immediately, they moved another Bench headed by Justice Girish Gupta and Justice Tapabrata Chatterjee, which asked them to first submit an application. The Bench, however, upheld the order of Justice Dipankar Dutta that the MP could not be arrested till 2 pm on Thursday.
Justice Datta had on Monday castigated the MP for instigating TMC workers to murder Opposition party workers as well as saying that he would send his boys to rape their women, and ordered a CID probe into the matter. He had also demanded an unconditional apology from Tapas.
The ruling had sparked a political storm as the TMC leaders immediately went on a damage control as they feared that a “judgment on admission” would disrobe him of the Lok Sabha membership.
His lawyer’s admission that the MP had uttered such obscene words but had apologised later, amounted to “judgment by admission”, said senior lawyer Subrata Mukherjee, who pointed out that it amounted to a conviction.
What is worrying for the TMC leadership and Mamata is the brewing revolt against the controversial MP. Condemning the comments made by Tapas, MP Mumtaz Sanghamira said, “It is not only against women, but also humanity and can never be pardoned. Irrespective of the circumstances under which he had said it, it cannot be pardoned.”
Her husband, former Judge of Calcutta High Court, Nurey Alam Chowdhury welcomed the Justice Datta’s ruling. “A High Court Judge considers all circumstances and then gives a ruling. He has given a perfect ruling,” he said.
Many TMC leaders are not happy with Mamta giving a clean chit to some leaders, who had been behaving in a criminal manner. Many celebrity MPs such as Moon moon Sen, Sandya Roy, Shatabdi Roy and Arpita Ghosh are silent on Tapas’ rape remarks.
“Since Sanghamira and her husband belong to the minority community, they probably had the guts to speak against Tapas. Had they been Hindus, they would have been crushed by Mamata,” former BJP state president Tathagat Roy said.