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Split verdict in Tapas Pal 'shoot and rape' remark case

Source: PTI
August 13, 2014 18:01 IST
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A Calcutta High Court bench on Wednesday gave a split verdict on the appeals against a single bench order directing filing of FIR and a CID probe into Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal's 'shoot and rape' comments.

The matter will now go to a third judge to be nominated by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur. The interim stay on Justice Dipankar Dutta's order on the filing of FIR and CID probe would continue for another three weeks, the division bench directed.

Justice Girish Gupta of the bench set aside Justice Dipankar Dutta's order on filing FIR while Justice T Chakrabarty differed and dismissed appeals of both the West Bengal government and Tapas Pal challenging it.

Justice Gupta directed the state government to hold an investigation into the incident on its own as he set aside the order of the single bench on filing of an FIR against the two-time Lok Sabha MP from Krishnagar.

On August 1, after completing the hearing, the bench had said it would give its verdict on August 13 and extended the stay on registration of FIR against Pal for his insensitive comments against women.

It had extended the stay till August 14.

Justice Dutta, passing his verdict on July 28 on a petition seeking CID investigation into Pal's comments against women and other opposition party supporters at election rallies, had also made caustic observations about the state's law and order and the role of police.

He had directed that the high court would monitor the probe in view of the West Bengal government's stand that the complaint did not disclose any cognisable offence.

Justice Dutta had in his order directed Inspector- in-charge of Nakashipara Police Station in Nadia district to treat the July one complaint by petitioner Biplab Chowdhury as an FIR.

Justice Dutta directed the CID authorities to file a status report on progress of investigation on September one.

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.

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