The state human rights commission (SHRC) on Wednesday suo motu started a case against Trinamool Congress member of Parliament (MP) Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar for insinuating that Kolkata's Park Street gangrape victim was a sex worker.
The SHRC's move came a day after the 37-year-old victim, a single mother of two, told the media she was planning to file a defamation suit against Ghosh Dastidar, but had no money for a legal battle.
Ghosh Dastidar, who represents the Barasat Lok Sabha constituency on the outskirts of Kolkata, had dismissed the gang rape as a "misunderstanding between a lady and her client".
"If you are referring to the Park Street rape (of February 5, 2012), see that is a different case altogether. It was not at all a rape case. It was a misunderstanding between the two parties involved - between a lady and her client," Ghosh Dastidar, a gynaecologist, had told a television channel on December 28.
Her remarks, a few hours before the Delhi gang rape victim died, triggered a nationwide backlash over gender insensitivity in West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's party.
Sujoy Halder, joint secretary of the SHRC, said, "We have requested the police commissioner to let us know what the TV footage says. We have asked for other details as well."
The victim welcomed the SHRC intervention.
"Almost a year has passed. I welcome any step in this direction."
The woman was allegedly raped in a moving car. Police have arrested three of the five accused in the case.