High court orders FIR against TMC’s Tapas Pal
Kolkata: The Calcutta high court on Thursday ordered the lodging of an FIR and a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probe into Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal’s alleged “shoot and rape” remarks against opposition party supporters and women. Justice Nishita Mhatre, before whom the matter was referred by the chief justice following a split order by a division bench of the high court, upheld the single bench order that had directed lodging of an FIR and CID probe into Pal’s controversial remarks during public meetings in his Krishnagar constituency in Nadia district. Justice Mhatre said there was no need for the court to monitor the investigation. In her order, Justice Mhatre said that the issue was whether or not the impugned order of the single judge was sustainable and that four parts of it need to be examined. The court said that these were whether the petition seeking an independent investigation into the MP’s comments was maintainable or not, whether FIR should be lodged against Pal, whether an investigation should be held by CID and, whether there was need for monitoring of the probe by the court as directed by the single judge bench of justice Dipankar Dutta. Appeals by the state government and Pal before a division bench of justice Girish Gupta and justice T. Chakraborti had led to a split verdict with the former setting aside justice Dutta’s order while the latter upheld it. Justice Mhatre, the referee judge, on Thursday upheld the first three parts of Justice Dutta’s order while directing that there was no need for court’s monitoring of the investigation. A prayer for stay on operation of the order by Tapas Pal’s lawyer was rejected. Justice Dutta, in his verdict of 28 July, had also made caustic observations about the state’s law and order situation and the role of police. He had directed that the high court would monitor the probe in view of West Bengal government’s stand that the complaint did not disclose any cognizable offence. Justice Dutta had directed inspector-in-charge of Nakashipara Police Station in Nadia district to treat the 1 July complaint by petitioner Biplab Chowdhury as an FIR and transfer the case to the deputy inspector general of police (DIG), CID, within 72 hours of registration of the FIR. Pal, whose controversial remarks against women had sparked outrage, had on 1 July tendered an unconditional apology to his party, saying that in making such comments he had let down his constituency and the people of the state. “Some remarks made by me in the heat and dust of the election campaign (2014 Lok Sabha polls) have caused dismay and consternation. I apologize unreservedly for them,” Pal had said in a written apology after a row broke out over the airing of the video of the remarks made by him at public meetings in his constituency.