NEIDP general secretary, elder brother of N Samarjit released on bail
The court observed that the trial of the case is not likely to commence soon.
A single bench of the Manipur High Court Justice Ahanthem Bimol on Tuesday released NEIDP general secretary Mayanglambam Tolenjao and Narengbam Bishwajit on bail after furnishing bail amount of Rs 1 lakh each.
Narengbam Bishwajit is the elder brother of Narengbam Samarjit Singh, who is accused of committing seditious activities against the government.
The high court order stated that no further investigation had been carried out by the police in connection with the present FIR after April 12. Subsequently, the court observed that the trial of the present case was not likely to commence soon.
The court further observed that it will take a long time in completing the trial, in case if it commences at all in the near future, and it will be unfair and will cause great hardship to the petitioners if they are denied bail and made to suffer detention in jail for an indefinite period while the completion of the trial is pending.
The petitioners approached the court for releasing them on bail as they were arrested on March 30 in connection with the suo motu FIR which stated that on March 29, Narengbam Samarjit Singh arrived at the Imphal airport along with NIA officials the same day at around 2:10 pm.
It stated that as soon as Samarjit was taken outside the exit gate of the airport building, his supporters numbering around 20-30 stormed towards the said accused persons, shouting slogans in support of his seditious activities. They also shouted seditious slogans, inciting the general public with the intent to cause fear or alarm to the public inducing them to commit offence against the state, which is likely to disturb the public tranquillity, as per the FIR.
It was also alleged that the supporters of N Samarjit Singh chased the police personnel who were escorting him and tried to snatch Samarjit, thereby obstructing the police personnel from discharging their duty. It was further alleged that the police team diverted Samarjit and put the crowd away by putting barricades and the accused was evacuated to a safe place swiftly.
On the basis of the incident, the suo motu FIR was registered under section 124-A/153 A (b)/353/505 (1) (b)/34 IPC for investigation. Police have arrested them and they have been under their custody since then.
Counsel M Gunedhor, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that one of the petitioners M Tolenjao Singh is general secretary of NEIDP, a political party, was deputed by the Central Working Committee of NEIDP to receive N Samarjit Singh at the airport. It was also submitted that the other petitioner, N Bishwajit Singh is the elder brother of N Samarjit Singh and he was present at the airport along with his family members to receive his younger brother at the airport.
The counsel further submitted that both the petitioners are absolutely innocent and have not committed any offence as alleged in the FIR and stated that they have been arrested on false and concocted charges.
Public prosecutor Yangya submitted that the prosecution categorically denied the allegations that the police have falsely implicated the petitioners in the case and caused their arrest on the basis of fabricated, concocted allegations and without any basis.
It has been submitted that the petitioners along with other co-accused were arrested in connection with the FIR case for the offences alleged to have committed by them and such allegations is corroborated by the CCTV footage and Video uploaded in social media and that prima facie case has been made out against the petitioners for their arrest and detention.
The public prosecutor further submitted that whether the ingredients of offences charged against the petitioners can only be determined at the stage of charge framing and not at the initial stage of investigation.
The judgment of the High Court stated that on bail objection affidavit, it had been clearly mentioned that from the CCTV footage collected from the Airport and Video footage uploaded in the social media, eight persons name therein were directly involved in shouting seditious words against the government, which disturbs the public tranquillity, obstructing the police personnel on discharging their duties and statements conducting to public mischief with common intention.
The HC stated that among the said eight accused persons, the names of the petitioners were not included and therefore, it cannot be said that there is prima facie case that the present petitioners were directly involved in committing offence alleged in the FIR from the examination of the said bail objection report as well as the records of the present cases. It is also ascertained that all the other accused arrested in connection with the present FIR have been released on bail, the high court stated. They were released on bail under these observations.