Rape women row: High Court orders filing of FIR against Tapas Pal, CID to probe

Written by PTI | Kolkata | Updated: Jul 28 2014, 23:55pm hrs
The Calcutta High Court today 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 matter.

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 one 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 comments.

Justice Dutta directed that the state CID would not disclose the report, which is to be submitted to the court on September one, 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 many people.

Pal, whose controversial remarks against women had sparked an outrage, on July one 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.