Calcutta HC seeks ATR from police on ‘slanderous posters’ at Justice Mantha’s residence

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday sought an action taken report (ATR) from the West Bengal government and the Kolkata police on the slanderous posters pasted on the walls of the residence of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha early on January 9.

Expressing dissatisfaction over no progress in identifying or taking action against the miscreants and masterminds behind the posters, a division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj asked the state government and the city police to submit the action taken report within the next seven days.

Passing this order while on a public interest litigation, the bench also questioned whether there at all any progress in the matter. It is learnt that after the state government will submit the action taken report to the court, the petitioner will also file a counter affidavit in the matter.

On Tuesday, during the course of hearing, counsel for the petitioner and CPI-M Rajya Sabha member, Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya claimed that over a week has passed since the incident took place and the police is yet to track the accused.

“It is still uncertain whether the police have started the investigation process to track the miscreants who put up the posters or the masterminds under whose instructions this was done,” Bhattacharya argued. The matter will be heard again on January 30.

On January 9 morning, these slanderous posters were seen pasted on the walls of Justice Mantha’s residence and adjacent areas at Jodhpur Park in south Kolkata where the latter was slammed for being biased towards Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari.

In the posters, he was also slammed for his recent verdict removing the protection of shield against any coercive action, including arrest, by the Enforcement Directorate against Maneka Gambhir, sister-in-law of Trinamool Congress’s national General Secretary, Abhishek Banerjee.

CCTV footage was also recovered where two masked men were pasting the posters. The city police have reportedly started investigation in the matter by filing two FIRs, the first being at Lake Police station and the other being at Hare Street police station. But till date none has been arrested.

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