Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court Wednesday asked the West Bengal government to spell out its stand on the rape-and-violence remarks made by Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member Tapas Paul.
On a writ petition filed by an advocate, Justice Dipankar Datta sought to know the state government’s position on the remarks by the Krishnanagar MP which have been aired by TV channels across the country.
“Today, somebody is going around saying he will murder and rape. The state will have to take a stand on this,” Justice Datta said, hearing the petition of advocate Samit Sanyal, a resident of Krishnanagar in Nadia district.
Justice Datta told state government pleader Ashok Banerjee that though he had the responsibility to defend his client, he also has a responsibility towards the society and the people.
The matter will again be taken up July 17.
Advocate Subrata Mukherjee, who represented the petitioner, said Paul’s comments had far-reaching consequences. Though the constitution grants the right to free speech, it comes with reasonable restriction.
But Banerjee pleaded that the matter be considered as a public interest litigation, and not a writ petition.
Paul was caught on tape exhorting his party workers to kill CPI-M activists even as he himself asserted that he would gun down his rivals and let loose his “boys” to rape CPI-M women.
Notwithstanding the countrywide clamour for Paul’s arrest and expulsion from parliament, the Trinamool has sought to end the matter with an apology which he tendered to his party and the media.
Paul has now been admitted to a Kolkata nursing home for “high blood pressure”.
However, West Bengal’s opposition parties claimed it was only an excuse to stay away from parliament, which is now in session.