Updated February 22nd, 2024 at 15:21 IST

'Feel Sorry For Cops': Calcutta HC's Stinging Remarks as it Grants Bail to Santu Pan

Representing Santu Pan in Calcutta High Court, senior counsel, Mahesh Jethmalani said, "This is the complete misuse of power."

Reported by: Digital Desk
Calcutta HC Remarks Against Mamata Govt | Image:X
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New Delhi: In a big win for Republic, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday granted bail to R Bangla Reporter Santu Pan, who was arrested by the West Bengal Police in the violence-hit Sandeshkhali area. Upholding the Right to Report, the court also ordered a stay on further proceedings in the case registered against Santu Pan at Sandeshkhali police station. Justice Kaushik Chanda granted bail to a Republic Bangla journalist. For the unversed, Mamata's cops had illegally arrested Pan from Sandeshkhali. He was remanded to police custody for three days by a local court in North 24 Parganas district on Tuesday.   

Representing Pan in Calcutta High Court, senior counsel, Mahesh Jethmalani said, "This is the complete misuse of power. Two days ago journalist of Republic Bangla went to report the situation of Sandeshkhali. He was working as a journalist and was interviewing the locals. The wife of a man called Abhishek Singh, one of Shah Jahan's companions, complained. Alleging molestation against the journalist."

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Here's What Transpired in Calcutta High Court? (Point-by-Point Rebuttal)

Jethmalani: When the incident was being told, the camera was on. The cameraman did the videography.

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The court saw the video of that time.

Judge: Let this video be shown to the AG. He is denying the truth!

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State: The woman complained within 3 minutes of the incident. How can I deny this video?And how to deny the complaint of the woman?

State:  Before I talk about it I have something to say.

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Judge: What else to explain?? Your IO is standing here saying this video is true. I see that too. Eyes are not closed. What are the initial findings??

Justice: I do not understand the FIR!

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State: The video or interview which was now shown in the court, was not shown to the IO.

Sandeepan Ganguly: We have shown this video in the lower court. IO was there. No rule of notice has been followed. We have also said this in the lower court.

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On the order of the court, the video of the moment of Santu's arrest was played

State: So many journalists are going, why will the police arrest only one?? At first he was told to go well, but he didn't.

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Justice: You mean, if all the journalists were arrested, it would be right? Since one of them is arrested.... his complaint is false?

The judge was shown the video of the woman's complaint by the state. Where it is alleged, that Santu entered by kicking the door

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Justice: Why the FIR will not be dismissed??

State: Now this is the very early stage of the investigation. It can't be done now!

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Jethmalani: The woman should be punished for the video the state showed. Because, first of all, there was no complaint of molestation in that video. Secondly, because there was a rush to arrest, this video was made later. This clause is purposefully added to withhold bail. No 41A notice was given!

Jethmalani: Why didn't the police seize the camera? What if this is a serious complaint? What is going on in Sandeshkhali?? He was arrested on the basis of a false complaint. A journalist, went to investigate the truth of the rape allegations, so he was hanged to silence him

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The AG read out the statement of the woman.

Justice: Sorry to say, the police officer is playing with the system. Your IO is writing whatever you want and filing a case!!
Any ideas, about what happened to the post-voting violence? Again, I am really sorry to see your policemen.

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Judge:  What is the ground reality of Sandeshkhali?? The ground reality is being seen.  A journalist went to inquire about the accused in the rape, but a case of molestation was filed against him!

A large number of women in Sandeshkhali had accused Trinamool Congress strongman Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters of "land-grab and sexually assaulting" them under coercion. Shajahan has been absconding after a mob, allegedly affiliated with him, attacked Enforcement Directorate officials who had gone to search his premises in connection with a ration scam on January 5.

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Published February 22nd, 2024 at 14:56 IST