Kolkata, July 31 IANS | 3 months ago

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court Thursday extended till Monday the stay on a single judge's order directing a CID probe and filing of an FIR into the rape and violence remarks by Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul.

Resuming the hearing of appeals filed by the West Bengal government and Paul challenging Monday's order of Justice Dipankar Dutta, a division bench of Justice Girish Chandra Gupta and Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty extended the stay it had granted a day earlier.

Appearing for the government, counsel Kalyan Banerjee contended that Paul's comments did not constitute a cognizable offence and as such it did not warrant filing of a first information report (FIR).

However, asked by the court if he, as a member of parliament, approved of Paul's comments, Banerjee said no. "I have appeared as counsel here and I do not approve his comments," replied Banerjee, also a Trinamool MP.

Hearing a petition seeking criminal proceedings against Paul, Justice Dipankar Datta Monday directed the CID to probe the matter and submit a report to the court by Sep 1. He directed that a first information report be registered within 72 hours.

Contending that court of Justice Datta "exceeded its jurisdiction", the government Wednesday appealed before the division bench against the order.

The actor-turned-politician was caught on successive tapes asking his party activists in his Krishnanagar constituency of Nadia district to prove themselves by killing Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists even as he himself asserted that he would gun down his rivals and let loose his "boys" to rape the Marxist women.

Directing the court monitored probe, Justice Datta made scathing remarks against Paul and expressed regret over the "apathy and indifference of the police".

"Paul's speech is outrageous and surpasses all bounds of civility. Paul by his bizarre act has shown an evil tendency to become a law unto himself. If this tendency is not nipped in the bud, the situation would take a turn for the worse," Justice Datta said in the 43-page order.

The matter will come up for hearing again Friday.

(Posted on 31-07-2014)

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