HC orders filing of FIR against Trinamool MP Tapas Pal for rape remark
KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Monday ordered
filing of an FIR against Trinamool Congress MP-cum-actor Tapas Pal for his
controversial comments against women and directed that the CID investigate the
Justice Dipankar Dutta, passing his verdict on a
petition seeking CID investigation into Pal’s comments against women and other
opposition party supporters at election rallies, directed that the high court
would monitor the probe in view of West Bengal government’s stand that the
complaint did not disclose any cognisable offence and that the state tried to
back the MP.
Justice Dutta directed Inspector in-charge of
Nakashipara police station in Nadia district to treat the July 1 complaint by
petitioner Biplab Chowdhury, a resident of Pal's constituency Krishnagar in
Nadia district, as an FIR.
The court also directed the state DGP to transfer the
case to the DIG, 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 Junior saying ‘injustice
anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’. Pal had in an open letter tendered
unconditional apology to the media and the public at-large for his unsavoury
Justice Dutta directed that 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 observed “Mr Pal and other MPs like him
should know that they are under the rule of law and not law of rules.”
“Mr Pal 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
Pal, 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,” Pal 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, the Trinamool Congress, and my political colleagues, I have
let down my family, including my wife and children and my parents, and my
friends,” Pal 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,” Pal
had said in his apology.