west bengal politics

Babul Supriyo gets six-week stay on arrest warrant against him in a case of ‘outraging modesty’

The BJP MP had moved the Calcutta High Court against a lower court order after TMC MLA Mahua Moitra had accused him of mocking her during a televised debate.

The Calcutta High Court on Monday ordered a six-week stay on the arrest warrant issued against Union minister Babul Supriyo in connection with a complaint filed against him by Trinamool Congress MLA Mahua Moitra. The court also included a provision for the stay order to be extended, IANS reported.

On March 10, the Kolkata Police had filed a chargesheet against Supriyo after Moitra had alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party MP had “outraged her modesty” during a televised debate with words and gestures. In her complaint lodged on January 4, a day after the programme was aired, Moitra had alleged that Supriyo had tried to make jokes at her expense, making fun of her name by linking it to a local variety of liquor called “mahua”.

The BJP MP had approached the high court after a bailable arrest warrant was issued against him by a lower court. After the chargesheet was filed, Supriyo had appeared to take the development in jest. “Chargesheet filed against me for asking Mohua Mitra, ‘Mohua are you on Mohua?’ while she was spewing venom against me and NaMo,” the singer had said on Twitter.

On Monday, however, the Union minister said he would have readily apologised to Moitra had she appraoched him personally, Hindustan Times reported. “I approached the high court because it was too much of her to file a police complaint and for the police to submit a chargesheet against me for making a remark during a debate on a national TV channel,” Supriyo said. “Had she expressed her grievances to me personally, I would have readily apologised.”

He later tweeted that he would fight Trinamool’s “vendetta politics” through legal means.

Correction and clarification: An earlier version of the story had incorrectly said that the high court had stayed all criminal proceedings against Babul Supriyo in the case.

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