Calcutta High Court order on Tapas Pal case, an eye opener for others

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The Calcutta HC on Monday ordered filing of a FIR against Trinamool Congress MP-cum-actor Tapas Pal for his controversial comment against women.
Saying that if a lawmaker acts like a law-breaker, no court can close its eyes, the Calcutta High Court on Monday ordered filing of a First Information Report against Trinamool Congress MP-cum-actor Tapas Pal for his controversial comments against women and directed that the CID should investigate the matter.

Justice Dipankar Dutta directed Inspector in-charge of Nakashipara police station in Nadia district to treat the July 1 complaint by petitioner Biplab Chowdhury, a resident of Pal's constituency Krishnagar in Nadia district, as an FIR.

The court also directed the state DGP to transfer the case to the DIG, CID, within 72 hours of the order being uploaded in the high court's website.

Justice Dutta directed the CID authorities to file a status report on progress of investigation on September 1.

What did the court say in its judgement:

Doubting the probe by the State government which downplayed the speech by Tapas Pal the court stated that the HC-monitored probe was necessitated and made following statements:

Quoting Martin Luther King (Jr) that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere", Jutsice Dipankar Dutta was quoted as saying in a TOI report, "The speech delivered by Tapas Pal is outrageous and surpasses all bounds of civility, and it is indeed unfortunate that the matter has travelled to this court.

For the greater interest of the state in general and the people in particular, the civil administration ought to have been well-advised to take action in accordance with law to avoid litigation. The need to be so vocal would not have arisen, but for the irresponsible stand taken by the state."

He further said, "Tapas Pal, 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 for the state.

It would breed contempt for the rule of law and encourage followers of politicians like Pal to take the law in their own hands. If a lawmaker becomes a lawbreaker and the law enforcing agency, despite being informed, turns a blind eye to it, can a civilized nation tolerate it?"

Criticising the Mamata government, the court said, "There has been a rise in shameful speeches delivered by politicians encouraging crime in this state, but in most cases police have looked the other way.

The apathy and indifference of police not to swing into action immediately points to the depths of lawlessness that the state has touched. The present case is no exception."

"Let this be an eye-opener for politicians like Tapas Pal that howsoever high they might be, the law is above them and even though they may have the tamed police by their side, the judiciary is ever vigilant and would not allow the extreme lethargy and indolence of the police to be condoned and the errant politicians go scot-free."

Tapas Pal was forgiven by the State Government on the pretext of seeking apology from everyone in public, but forgiving our leaders everytime has brought us to this stage, where remarks are made by our lawmakers and later on apologies are made and the matter is closed. But if a common man makes a statement against a politician in public, he/she is put behind bars, even if they plead apology many a times. As they say, law is equal for all; even the people's representative should be treated in the same way. One can just hope that the Calcutta High Court's order against Tapas Pal turns out to be a lesson for other law breakers and acts as a nip in the bud.

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