Cong leader accused of insulting Mamata Banerjee’s honour, Calcutta High Court pauses case

by Subhechcha Ganguly

Koustav Bagchi, a lawyer and spokesman for the West Bengal Congress, was taken into custody at his home in the North 24 Parganas district. In response to Koustav Bagchi’s inflammatory comments on chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the Calcutta high court on Wednesday halted all criminal proceedings against him until the next hearing and requested a report from the Kolkata police on the matter.

On Wednesday, Justice Rajasekhar Mantha issued the temporary restraining order and asked the Kolkata police commissioner for a report.Within hours after the Burtolla police station in Kolkata conducting a midnight raid at Bagchi’s residence in the Barrackpore neighbourhood of the North 24 Parganas district, Bagchi was detained on March 4 and released on bail by the Bankshall court in Kolkata.He was charged with violating the Indian Criminal Code’s sections 120b (criminal conspiracy), 153 (provoking riot), 354a (sexual harassment), 504 (intentional insult), 505 (statements causing public mischief), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 509 (insulting a woman’s modesty).The Burtolla police referenced a March 3 press conference at which Bagchi read passages from a former bureaucrat’s book, written by Dipak Ghosh. Formerly a dependable aide to Mamata Banerjee, Ghosh had written about some facets of Banerjee’s private life. The book is still available online in soft copies, and it has not been prohibited. On the basis of a complaint from a Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporter, the FIR was registered.

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