By A Newsman
Kolkata, 10 January: ALIPORE police station in Kolkata today issued a notice to Union minister of state for heavy industries Babul Supriyo in response to an FIR that has been filed against him by Trinamool MLA Mahua Moitra.
In the notice, the Union minster has been asked to appear before the investigating officer at the Alipore police station at 12 noon. Acknowledging the receipt of the notice, Supriyo has however said that he would not be able to come on the specified day as he would be away in Asansol for a pre-scheduled event.
Supriyo, on the other hand, has filed defamation suit against MLA Moitra, senior Trinamool MP Saugata Roy, and arrested Trinamool MP Tapas Pal for accusing in TV interviews that he had taken money from the scam-hit Rose Valley Group.
The Trinamool MLA from Karimpur in Nadia, Moitra had lodged FIR against the BJP minister on 04 January accusing him of harming her modesty by making a “derogatory” comment during a live TV show on NDTV 24X7 last week.
In response to the Trinamool MLA’s allegation during the TV show that Supriyo had financially benefitted from the Rose Valley Group, he had playfully asked if Moitra was under the influence of Mahua ~ a traditional intoxicating beverage popular among the Adivasis.
To took exception to this and filed a written complaint against the minister. Police had registered her complaint as an FIR under Indian Penal Code section 509 that pertains to gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman, and is punishable by jail term up to one year or fine or both.
Probing into the case, sub-inspector Jagannath Mondal of Alipore PS today served the notice on the Union minister at his Kolkata residence under section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Going by the provision, if an accused does not respond to the notice for appearance, police can arrested that person.
Stating that he would not able to turn up at Alipore PS on 12 January, minister Supriyo has said that he would soon inform the police officer as to when he would be able to come and has assured all cooperation in the investigation.