Kolkata, Aug 13: Owing to a divided opinion of the two judges, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday referred to a single-judge bench the hearing of appeals against an earlier verdict for initiating criminal proceedings against Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul for his ‘kill and rape’ remarks. The appeals were filed by the West Bengal government and Paul against Justice Dipankar Datta’s order for registering a first information report against Paul and directing the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to probe the matter.
Hearing the appeals, the division bench of Justices Girish Gupta and Tapabrata Chakraborty gave differing verdicts. While Justice Gupta set aside Justice Datta’s verdict but asked the police to investigate the matter, Justice Chakraborty said he did not agree and dismissed the appeals. The bench extended the stay on Justice Datta’s interim order for three weeks and referred the matter to be heard by another judge.
“Justice Datta’s interim order is set aside and the police are directed to investigate the matter and bring it to a logical conclusion,” Justice Gupta said allowing the appeals. “I don’t agree with it and both the appeals are dismissed,” said Justice Chakraborty. The chief justice will now assign the bench that will hear the matter at a later date.
Paul was caught on video tape asking 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.
Hearing a petition seeking criminal proceedings against Paul, Justice Datta late last month 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. The state government and Paul then moved the division bench challenging Justice Dipankar Datta’s order.