The State Government has sought an additional six weeks for communicating to the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) its response regarding compensation to Ambikesh Mahapatra, a Jadavpur University professor, and his neighbour arrested in April 2012 for forwarding an e-mail containing graphics of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“We have received a letter from the State Government seeking an additional time of six weeks to communicate its response to the Commission. The WBHRC has accepted the request,” its joint secretary, Sujay Kumar Haldar, said here on Monday.

On August 13, 2012, the Commission had recommended that Prof Mahapatra and his neighbour Subrata Sengupta be given a compensation of Rs 50,000 each within two months for “the manner in which they were arrested from their residential complex and detained in a thana for a case which is a non-cognizable offence”.

The WBHRC had also recommended initiating departmental proceedings against two police officers of the Purba Jadavapur police station who were involved in their arrest.

Commenting on the developments, Prof Mahapatra told The Hindu that the State Ggovernment should have implemented the recommendations much earlier.

“I am surprised that the State Government has sought a further six-week time even though six months have elapsed since the Commission gave its recommendations,” he said.

 Prof Mahapatra and his neighbour were also charged under other sections of the Indian Penal Code such as those related to outraging the modesty of a woman but the charges were dropped later.