Trinamool MP Tapas Paul gets bail in hate speech case

Kolkata, June 29 (IANS) Actor-turned-Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul was on Monday granted bail by a West Bengal court in a case pertaining to his alleged inflammatory remarks.

Besides Paul, another controversial Trinamool leader Anubrata Mondal, who is facing prosecution for a hate speech, was also granted bail by a court.

Chargesheeted for bailable offences by the CID for his kill-and-rape remark, Paul surrendered before a court in Nadia district, following which he was granted bail.

“Today (Monday), Paul surrendered before the court, which granted him bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs.5,000,” said a lawyer for the Lok Sabha member.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) filed the charge sheet in May in the court of the additional chief judicial magistrate of Krishnanagar, charging Paul under sections 506 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code among other offences.

Section 509 deals with words, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman and carries a maximum punishment of one-year simple imprisonment, while section 506 deals with criminal intimidation and carries a maximum punishment of seven years if the threat is for causing death, grievous hurt or to impute unchastity to a woman.

The actor-turned-politician, who represents Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituency, was caught on successive tapes in June last year, exhorting his partymen to kill Marxist workers and threatening to let loose his boys to rape their women.

“If a CPI-M man dares to touch anybody, I will take out my gun and shoot him. I always carry a gun… I will destroy his entire clan. I will make their family pay dearly. I will ask my boys to go there. They will rape them and leave,” Paul had said then.

Several cases, including public interest litigations, were filed to demand a probe by the CID, and the arrest and trial of Paul.

A Calcutta High Court bench of Justice Nishita Mhatre in September last year directed the CID to initiate a probe and file a first information report in the case.

Mondal, the Birbhum district president of the Trinamool, who too has been chargesheeted by police for instigating violence, was granted bail by the Birbhum chief judicial magistrate on a personal bond of Rs.1,000.

Addressing a party rally during the 2013 rural polls, Mondal had exhorted his partymen to set ablaze independent candidates’ houses and hurl bombs at police if they tried to prevent them.

Subsequent to Mondal’s inflammatory speech, Sagar Ghosh, an independent panchayat member, was killed allegedly by Trinamool activists.

Opposition parties have slammed the Mamata Banerjee administration for pressing lighter charges against the duo that enabled them to get bail.

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