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High Court orders filing of case against Tapas Paul, probe by CID

Calcutta, July 28 (PTI): The Calcutta High Court on Monday ordered the filing of a police case against Trinamul Congress member of Parliament Tapas Paul for his controversial comments against women and directed that the crime branch investigate the matter.

Justice Dipankar Dutta, passing his verdict on a petition seeking Criminal Investigation Department’s investigation into the actor’s comments against women and other opposition party supporters at election rallies, said the high court would monitor the probe in view of the West Bengal government's stand that the complaint did not disclose any cognisable offence and that the state tried to back Paul.

Justice Dutta directed the inspector in-charge of Nakashipara police station in Nadia district to treat the July 1 complaint by petitioner Biplab Chowdhury, a resident of Paul's constituency Krishnagar in Nadia district, as a first information report.

The court also directed the director general of police to transfer the case to the deputy inspector general, CID, within 72 hours of the order being uploaded in the high court's website.

Justice Dutta directed the CID authorities to file a status report on progress of investigation on September one.

Justice Dutta, who had admonished the state on previous occasions also, quoted Martin Luther King, Jr., saying “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Paul had in an open letter tendered unconditional apology to the media and the public at-large for his unsavoury comments.

Justice Dutta said the state CID would not disclose the report, which is to be submitted to the court on September 1, to anyone without its prior leave.

He said “Mr Paul and other MPs like him should know that they are under the rule of law and not law of rules.”

”Mr Paul was a Bengali film actor and subsequently got elected as Member of Parliament twice, so he is an idol to many men,” Justice Dutta observed, noting that such comments by him could have adverse effect on many people.

Paul, whose controversial remarks against women had sparked an outrage, on July 1 tendered an unconditional apology saying that in making such comments he has let down his constituency and the people of Bengal.

”Some remarks made by me in the heat and dust of the election campaign (2014 Lok Sabha polls) have caused dismay and consternation. I apologise unreservedly for them,” Paul said in a written apology after a huge controversy broke out following airing of the videos of his outbursts at public meetings in his constituency by television channels.

”Whatever the provocation -- and there was an attempt at provocation -- those comments should never have been made,” the letter said.

”In making them, I have let down my constituents and the people of Bengal, I have let down my party…my political colleagues, I have let down my family, including my wife and children and my parents, and my friends,” Paul had said.

”I apologise to all of them, and particularly to all women in our society and to those in the media who highlighted the issue,” the two-time Lok Sabha MP from Krishnagar said.

”I have no excuses to offer. It was a gross error of judgement and deeply insensitive. It should not have happened. And I assure you it will not happen again. Once more, a humble apology,” Paul had said in his apology.


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