TODAY -

HC quashes detention order of Kishorchandra
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 08 2019: A Division Bench of the High Court of Manipur quashed and set aside the detention order of Kishorchandra Wangkhem under the National Security Act (NSA) which was issued by Imphal West District Magistrate, Naorem Praveen on November 27, and directed the concerned authority to set free Kishorchandra if he is not wanted in any other cases.

The judgment of the Division Bench comprising of Justice Lanusungkum Jamir and Justice Kh Nobin, was passed today, after it was kept reserved from March 4, in connection with the writ petition filed by Kishorchandra Wangkhem.

Kishorchandra was detained under NSA for allegedly criticizing the Government through a Facebook post on August 9 and November 20 last year.

He was released on bail by Chief Judicial Magistrate Imphal West on November 26.However, the next day, on November 27, he was picked up by police and detained at Imphal PS for around 5 hours before he was detained under NSA by an order of DC Imphal West.



HC quashes detention order of Kishorchandra
HC quashes detention order of Kishorchandra


Since then, Kishorchandra has been lodged in Sajiwa Central Jail.

Challenging his detention order, Kishorchandra filed a writ petition on November 27 against Imphal West DC, the State of Manipur through Chief Secretary, Union of India through Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs (Department of Internal Security) and SP Sajiwa Central Jail, as respondents and prayed to quash the detention order of November 27, the approval order of December 7 and the confirmation order of NSA as well as to release him if he is not wanted in any case by issuing a habeas corpus writ.

The judgment order mentioned that during the hearing of the writ petition, Advocate General N Kumarjit submitted that the petitioner/Kishorchandra was detained under NSA for his activities which was prejudicial to the security of the State and maintenance of public order.

On November 19, Kishorchandra posted four video clips where he used unconstitutional and invective words blaming the existing Government both in the State and the Centre for their policy and programmes under the supervision of Prime Minister Modi in connivance with RSS.

It was also submitted that in his post, Kishorchandra mentioned that the Chief Minister is a puppet of the Prime Minister and that Rani Lakshmibai's birth anniversary is a total nuisance and the act of Chief Minister celebrating such occasion in the State is an insult to the freedom struggle of Manipur which means that he spoke and acted in support of the military/terrorist organization presently operating in Manipur thereby showing his seditious attitude and leanings towards unlawful organizations.

Further he had also challenged the authority of the State to come out and arrest him if they can do so, the Advocate General submitted.

On the other hand, the counsel of the petitioner submitted four specific grounds for quashing the detention order reasoning that the picture and caption alleged to have been posted by Kishorchandra on his Facebook wall on August 7 last year was not furnished to the petitioner, the compact disc containing four video clips were not supplied to the petitioner, the representation submitted by respondents on December 5 was considered and disposed off by the detaining authority on December 10 and there was a long delay in considering and disposing the representation by the Central Government.

The Division Bench, considering the submission of both parties, came to the conclusion that failing to furnish the pictures and captions allegedly posted on Facebook by the petitioner and the compact disc containing four video clips rendered the representation ineffective thereby vitiating the detention order of November 27 last year.

The Division Bench, looking after the facts and circumstances, quashed and set aside the detention order passed by DC Imphal West on November 27, along with other consequential orders for detaining Kishorchandra Wangkhem under NSA and directed the authority concerned to set him free if he is not wanted in any other cases Kishorchandra is likely to be released from Sajiwa Central Jail after necessary processes for his release are completed by the Home Department.

On the other hand, Kishorchandra's wife Elangbam Ranjita has expressed happiness at hearing that her husband would be freed.

However, she also expressed fear and uncertainty as the BJP is still in power in the State.

Speaking to media persons, Ranjita said that many people who criticised the ruling BJP Government were jailed or detained and her husband is not the first to be arrested in such situations.

In Manipur, those who have power, are the ones running the show.

Democracy is controlled by those in power, she claimed.

She then clarified that she also finds the words said by her husband on social media harsh and strong but added that she finds the punishment meted out to her husband to be far worse.

Democracy can be preserved only when there is freedom of speech, she added.


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