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Posted at: Mar 20, 2017, 9:03 PM; last updated: Mar 20, 2017, 9:03 PM (IST)

Six-week stay on arrest warrant against Babul Supriyo

Kolkata, March 20

The Calcutta High Court on Monday gave a six-week stay on the execution of arrest warrant issued against Union Minister Babul Supriyo with a provision of extending it in future, a lawyer said.

"The High Court has given a stay order on the execution of the arrest warrant issued against my client. We can also appeal to further extend the stay order in the future. We got a positive order in the case," Supriyo's lawyer said.

"The court has also minutely observed that the case against him does not fall under IPC 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), which he was charged with. The court has rightly observed what was said by the complainant and the petitioner. The case would be raised in the court again within four weeks for the next hearing," the lawyer added.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP moved the high court after a bailable arrest warrant was issued against him by a city court on March 10 for allegedly insulting Trinamool Congress MLA Mahua Moitra during a talk show on TV by punning her name with a local drink (Mahua).

The high court reportedly rebuked Supriyo on Monday terming his comments as "offensive".

Reacting to the court's verdict, Supriyo said the court had made the right observations and argued that he made those "pun-intended comments" jokingly.

"I accept the reprimand of the court with all humility. The high court has made the right observations. I accept that I used those lines on the show. However, my comments were 'pun intended'. This amount of sense of humour is OK in politics," the singer-turned-politician from Bengal said.

"I said those words to counter her allegations that I and our Prime Minister have misused crores of rupees. But I had no intentions of outraging her modesty. I haven't made any rude comments against anyone during my tenure of two-and-a-half years. I have also filed a defamation case against Moitra for what she said," he added.

Supriyo described the complaint as "politically motivated", and added "She could have personally asked me to say sorry".

Moitra, the complainant, said she had complete faith in the court, but refused to react to Supriyo's comments.

"I have complete faith in the court but I wont react to what he said," Moitra asserted.

"If the court accepts his claims that he made a pun or a joke, then it's my bad luck and if it thinks his comments was unjust, I am sure court would give the verdict accordingly," she added.

Moitra lodged a police complaint against Supriyo on January 4 for allegedly insulting her by saying "Mahua are you on Mahua" (Mahua are you inebriated), twice on a national television. — IANS

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