Manipur HC dismisses case filed against Lhukhosei Zou

The high court stated that the law does not permit the private individuals like the petitioners, who are not victims or informants, to carry an appeal against the acquittal judgment.


The High Court of Manipur on Thursday dismissed a miscellaneous case filed by members of ‘3.5 Collective’ against former ADC chairman of Chandel Lhukhosei Zou and six others and the state government.

The petitioners were seeking grant of special leave to appeal against the judgment dated December 17, 2020 passed by the Special Court NDPS, Imphal. The NDPS Special Court in its judgment had acquitted Lhukhosei Zou and six others from a drug haul case of 2018, citing the failure of the prosecution to prove the allegation levelled against them.

The order passed by the single bench of the high court Justice MV Muralidaran stated, “If the appeal is granted, it would be a dangerous doctrine and would cause utter confusion in the criminal justice system. Further, the petitioners have failed to produce any authoritative pronouncement of the highest court to show that they are entitled to seek special leave to appeal against the acquittal judgment.”

It also stated that the law does not permit the private individuals like the petitioners, who are not victims or informants, to carry an appeal against the acquittal judgment. 

"Ultimately, it is the state to prefer an appeal against the acquittal judgment passed by the Special Court NDPS, Imphal and this Court cannot force the state to file an appeal against the acquittal judgment," the judgment order mentioned.

The petition filed by 3.5 Collective mentioned that it submitted petitions to various authorities, including the Prime Minister, the chief minister and special secretary (Home), requesting them to appeal against the judgment of the Special Court NDPS, Imphal; however, no action was seen to be initiated to file an appeal. Since the state failed to file an appeal against the judgment of the Special Court NDPS, Imphal the petitioners decided to prefer an appeal with the special leave of this court, the petition stated.  

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First Published:May 2, 2021, 10:44 p.m.

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