In a move that startled both political leaders and legal experts, the state government on Tuesday decided to challenge the Calcutta High Court order directing the CID to probe into the rape remark of Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul in Choumaha village on June 29.
A single-judge Bench of Justice Dipankar Dutta ordered the CID on Monday to take over the investigation into Paul’s remarks where he allegedly threatened to let loose his “boys to rape women of CPM workers”, and submit a report on or before September 1 before the HC.
“We are going to file an appeal against the order before a Division bench,’’ Minister of law and health Chandrima Bhattacharya said.
Earlier this month, two lawyers — Shamit Sanyal and Biplab Chaudhury — had filed a petition, after which the court asked the police to file an FIR against Paul. The court, while taking umbrage at the MP’s remark, wondered how a lawmaker could have made such comments.
The state’s decision to file an appeal drew sharp reaction from opposition parties, even as lawyers expressed dismay, saying it amounted to “supporting the stand” of its MP in which he propagated the message of venom and vulgarity.
“I have never seen such brazenness. This chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) is a blot on West Bengal. She seems to be supporting the threat of her party MP of killing CPM people and raping their women. She is now giving licence to her party people to commit those heinous crimes,’’ said West Bengal Pradesh Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is an MP from Berhampore.
Incidentally, Paul’s counsel Rajdeep Majumdar has reportedly said they would file an appeal against the order.
The erring MP had earlier tendered an “unconditional apology” to the party upon which the CM had remarked that the “matter ended there”.