Ex-principal gets anticipatory bail in fake painting case

Former principal of Government Art College, Dipali Bhattacharjee, was granted anticipatory bail by the Calcutta High Court on Friday in connection with the display of alleged fake paintings of Rabindranath Tagore at the college in March 2011.

In a related case, a PIL challenging the report of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which stated that 20 of the 23 paintings of Tagore displayed at the event were fake, came up for hearing today. The Division Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Pratap Kumar Roy allowed Bhattacharjee's request to be made party in the PIL. The case will come up for hearing next month.

The cases pertain to a painting exhibition held at Government Art College last year. Eminent painter Tapash Sarkar had first filed a PIL alleging that 23 paintings of Tagore displayed at the college exhibition were fake. Bhattacharjee was the principal of the art college that time.

The court then directed ASI to probe the allegation. In its report filed to the court in November 2011, the ASI that 20 of the 23 paintings of Tagore displayed at the event were fake. Then Sarkar lodged a complaint with the New Market Police Station and CID was handed over the case.

However, a group of painters challenged the report of ASI terming it doubtful and filed another PIL in the High Court.

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