Chief minister Mamata Banerjee chided the West Bengal police on Tuesday for booking five youngsters, including the niece of the Kolkata mayor, under stringent sections of the IPC in connection with a road accident.
"There was an incident involving small girls in Kolkata. But does that mean police will take away their (driving) license!" Banerjee remarked at the state assembly.
"I am not intervening in the matter. The police is investigating the matter. But personally, I think everybody needs counselling."
On Friday night, Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee's niece Debapriya Chatterjee and four of her friends were going from Rashbehari to Chetla when their car jumped a signal and nearly knocked down a pedestrian.
A traffic constable came and stopped the car, triggering an altercation with the youngsters. The constable later told reporters that the occupants of the car shouted at him and threatened that they would have him kicked out of his job.
The youngsters snatched the constable's notebook and heckled him.
After a long drama, the youngsters were brought to Tollygunge police station. The constable was the complainant and an FIR was lodged under two sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), one of them non-bailable.
But over the past four days, police have neither arrested the accused nor summoned them for questioning.
Instead, the constable went on leave on Monday though officials claimed the leave was sanctioned before the incident.
Sovan Chatterjee and his family are known to be close to the chief minister.
In February 2012, the chief minister's nephew, Akash Banerjee, had slapped a traffic constable.
CPI-M leader Sujan Chakravarty said police should act against those who break the law.
"If the mayor's niece has done something illegal, it is natural that the police would take action. The chief minister clearly expressed her disapproval at the appropriate actions of the police. The chief minister, who is also the police minister, is destroying the morale of the police," he said.
Earlier, Banerjee had used the "small boy" theory to indulgently explain how members of the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad, her party's students wing, had heckled and manhandled principals and teachers of several colleges soon after her party came to power.