The West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) has refuted the arguments of the State government for denying compensation to Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and his neighbour Subrata Sengupta, arrested for forwarding an e-mail containing a cartoon of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 

“The State government has conveniently chosen not to deal with the illegality committed by the police,” a senior official of the WBHRC told The Hindu on Tuesday, quoting the Commission’s letter to the State’s Home department. 

The argument presented by the government was that Prof. Mahapatra and his neighbour were taken to the police station for “protective custody” from an irate mob that had attacked them earlier in the day on April 12, 2012.  

However, the Commission had stated that instead of taking into custody Prof. Mahapatra and his neighbour, the police should have acted against those who had “wrongfully confined” them earlier in the office of their residential complex, as that is a cognizable offence under Section 341 of the Indian Penal Code.  

The WBHRC also observed that in the deposition made before it, the police had not referred to the charges brought under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 brought against both of them.