The Alipore Court in Kolkata issued a bailable arrest warrant against Union minister of state for heavy industries Babul Supriyo on Friday in a case filed against him by Trinamool Congress MLA Mahua Moitra on January 4.
The development comes a day after the police submitted a charge sheet showing Supriyo as an absconder. Moitra has alleged that Supriyo tried to ‘insult her modesty’ during a live debate on a national TV channel.
“The charge sheet was submitted on Thursday. The court was informed that the minister did not turn up before the investigating officer even after he was summoned thrice,” said a senior Kolkata police officer.
The warrant, however, has been issued under bailable section (509 IPC dealing with word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman). Supriyo may either surrender at any police station or court or may move the Calcutta high court seeking quashing of the warrant, legal experts said.
Responding to the development on social media, Supriyo tweeted: “ChargeSheet filed against me for asking Mohua Mitra “Mohua r u on Mohua” while she was spewing venom against me & NaMo.” He also tweeted it in Bengali, his mother tongue.
The singer-turned-politician is an MP from Asansol and union minister of state for heavy industries and public enterprises. Supriyo had told Moitra during a TV channel debate, ‘Mahua, are you on mahua (a strong country liquor)?’ Moitra lodged a police complaint on January 4. Supriyo described her response as ‘childish.’
The junior minister also sent a defamation notice to Moitra and two Trinamool MPs, Sougata Roy and Tapas Pal, on January 10, for alleging that he was involved in the Rose Valley ponzi fund scam.
Following the arrest of Pal and Trinamool MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay in the Rose Valley scam case, Trinamool Congress leaders of various ranks, including party chief Mamata Banerjee, started demanding a CBI probe against Supriyo as well.