TODAY -

Lady officer summoned on contempt case
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 01 2020: The High Court of Manipur summoned the then Additional SP of NAB Thounaojam Brinda to the Court on June 10 in connection with a contempt case.

The order was passed during the hearing of a suo motu criminal contempt case registered by High Court of Manipur against Th Brinda and others following the spat of comments on Facebook triggered by her post which allegedly undermined and criticised the Court for granting three weeks bail to accused drug kingpin former ADC Chandel Chairman Lhukhosei Zou in a 2018 drug smuggling case.

Besides summoning Th Brinda, the Division Bench of the High Court comprising of Justice Lanusungkum Jamir and Justice Kh Nobin also directed and gave the SP Cyber Crime three weeks to verify and submit the details of the persons who had supported Th Brinda by posting comments directed against the Court on social media (Facebook) .

The Court observed that "there are other persons who have, in line with and in support of Th Brinda, uploaded various posts, and they are required to be impleaded as party respondents in the present contempt proceedings" .

The Court also gave notice to the public that "no person shall publish anything or do any other act which may tantamount to criminal contempt, within its meaning, as defined in Section 2 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 and if any person is found to have done so, a criminal proceeding is required to be initiated against the person as well" .

It may be noted that Special Judge ND&PS, A Noutuneshwari Devi had granted Lhukhosei Zou three weeks bail (till June 12) on execution of PR bond of Rs 20,00,000 with two sureties of same amount for undergoing gallbladder surgery and prohibited him from leaving the State without prior permission of the Court on May 21 .

The Court during the hearing had lashed at Additional SP NAB Th Brinda for not maintaining Court "decorum" and "threatening" a witness while examining.

Hours after the bail hearing, Th Brinda had posted comment "criticising" the Court on Facebook and the All Manipur Judicial Officers' Association had filed a complaint against her with the Cyber Crime Department for posting "unethical comment" against Special Judge ND&PS Manipur.

The Court, during the hearing today, observed that the social media is not the appropriate forum where the validity and gravity of an order can be questioned by an aggrieved person.

And if a person is aggrieved by an order passed by the Court, it is open to him/her to approach the appellate forum for redressal of his/ her grievance.

"Similarly, if a person is aggrieved by the conduct of a subordinate Judge, while maintaining the decorum of the Court and the administrative justice, it is open to him/her to approach the High Court with a complaint so that the same can be considered by the High Court in the administrative side" .

The Court further observed that Th Brinda being a police officer of the State Government, cannot be said to be an aggrieved person and all that she could have done, was to appraise the State Government about the order (grant of bail to Lhukhosei Zou) .

"The Court is of the prima facie view that the manner and conduct of Th Brinda, interfering with the proceedings of the Court and her subsequent uploading of various posts, are highly contemptuous, because of which, the criminal proceeding is been initiated against her," the Division Bench said and issued notice to Th Brinda returnable on June 10 directing her to be present before the same Court on June 10 at 10.30 am .


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