HC asks Bengal govt why it did not probe Tapas Pal's comment

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday questioned the West Bengal government as to what stopped it from initiating an investigation into Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal's controversial "shoot and rape" comments.

PTI| Updated: Sep 10, 2014, 21:59 PM IST

Kolkata,: The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday questioned the West Bengal government as to what stopped it from initiating an investigation into Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal's controversial "shoot and rape" comments.

Justice Nishita Mhatre, the referee judge hearing the matter after a division bench gave a split verdict on an appeal by the state against a single bench order, observed that the government had not initiated an investigation, purportedly because Pal was an MP and an influential person.

Noting that a professor was hauled up for posting a cartoon of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and then Railway Minister Mukul Roy in the Internet, he observed that no such action had been taken against the MP.

The judge also questioned why the state Director General of Police (DGP) had not acted despite a July 30 letter by the state Home Department to initiate investigation into the matter.

He also noted that Pal had issued an apology for his comments.

A division bench comprising justices Girish Gupta and T Chakraborty had on August 13 given a split verdict on appeals against a single bench order that directed filing of FIR and a CID probe into Pal's insensitive comments.

The matter was then referred to the third judge Mahtre, nominated by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur, for deciding on points of difference between the two judges.

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

"Some remarks made by me in the heat and dust of the election campaign (2014 Low 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 video of his outburst at public meetings in his constituency.