Molestation Case against West Bengal Guv Bose: Raj Bhavan Employee Moves SC

Molestation Case

A contractual woman employee at Raj Bhavan, who has alleged molestation by West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose has approached the Supreme Court challenging the “blanket immunity” afforded to him under Article 361 of the Constitution. Article 361 provides that criminal proceedings cannot be initiated against the Governor during his term in office.

The petitioner is seeking directions to establish specific guidelines for the immunity Governors receive from criminal prosecution. “This court must decide whether a victim like the petitioner can be left remediless, with the only recourse being to wait for the accused to leave office—a delay that may make the trial ineffective and the procedure a mere formality, failing to deliver justice to the victim,” the plea states.

Calls for Investigation

The petition also calls for an investigation by the West Bengal police into the case, protection for the petitioner and her family, and compensation for the damage to her reputation.

The woman, employed on a contractual basis at Raj Bhavan, had lodged a complaint with Kolkata Police alleging molestation by Bose at the governor’s residence on April 24 and May 2. She accused Bose of staging a “ridiculous drama” to divert attention from his actions, asserting that he should have provided CCTV footage from the premises at the start of the investigation.

Footage from two CCTV cameras at the main (north) gate, recorded from 5:32 pm to 6:41 pm on May 2, was shown to a select group of people and journalists at the Central Marble Hall on the ground floor of Raj Bhavan. The first footage depicted the employee, dressed in jeans and a top, rushing to the police outpost within the governor’s house amidst a heavy police presence due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit that day.

The second footage, which lasted around 10 minutes, showed various vehicles, including fire tenders, arriving at the north gate of Raj Bhavan, with policemen lining up for their duties. However, the victim was not visible in this footage.

Defamation Case against Chief Minister

In response to the allegations, Bose filed a defamation case against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on June 28, a day after Banerjee claimed that women had expressed fear about visiting Raj Bhavan due to activities there.

The Calcutta High Court has adjourned the hearing on the matter until Thursday.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte