Manipur HC suspends MSWC proceeding, serves notice
One Tharoijam Ningol Ranjita Devi, about 31 years, wife of Thangjam Wangthoi Singh, a resident of Tharoijam Mayai Leikai and presently residing at Chalou Maning Leikai, PO Lamlong, Lamlai Police Station, Imphal East district had lodged the petition before the High Court with a prayer to quash or set aside the case proceedings of MSWC.
A single bench of the High Court of Manipur justice A Bimol on Tuesday suspended the proceedings of Manipur State Women Commission (MSWC) till the next hearing on July 20 in connection with a case and issued a notice to the Commission and others, following a petition lodged against the commission.
The high court suspended a case proceeding of the Complaint Case No 42 of 2021 of MSWC, lodged by one Tharoijam Ningol Ranjita Devi, about 31 years, wife of Thangjam Wangthoi Singh, a resident of Tharoijam Mayai Leikai and presently residing at Chalou Maning Leikai, PO Lamlong, Lamlai Police Station, Imphal East district. She lodged the petition before the High Court with a prayer to quash or set aside the case proceedings of MSWC.
In the petition, Ranjita stated that one Mutum Prava Devi who is working as the president of Organisation for Indian Women Against Crimes (Women Against Crime), lodged a complaint before the MSCW on behalf of one Thokchom Chandrasekhar, 60, against Ranjita that Chandrasekhar has been staying together with Ranjita at Chalou Maning Leikai, under Lamlai Police Station since 2018 after erecting a house over a purchased homestead land there.
Prava Devi also alleged that Chandrasekhar stayed together with Ranjita without performing any form of marriage between them, and that he stayed with the woman without the knowledge of his elders and relatives.
It is also alleged that Chandrasekhar made her run a large grocery shop at Lamlai Bazar after financing the same. Further, it is also alleged that differences came up between them for the last two to three months as they started distrusting each other and confronted each other. Meira Paibi of Chalou and local Club had also reportedly attempted to settle the disputes.
Stating that the man was in a state of dilemma, Prava Devi had allegedly urged MSWC to allow the man to stay together with Ranjita in her home.
Following the complaint filed before the commission on May 11, its chairperson reportedly issued a summon notice to both man and the woman on June 14 to appear before the commission.
On June 17, Ranjita along with her counsel appeared before the commission. Her counsel submitted that the commission has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint lodged by the private organisation, citing reason that the commission has been established for looking into complaints relating to deprivation of women’s rights and the present complaint was filed for and on behalf of a man who would like to cohabit with a woman.
It was submitted that the complaint was lodged by an organisation which claims to be established for promotion and protection of women’s rights and the present complaint is very much contrary to its objectives.
The commission allegedly refused to agree with the submission made by Ranjita’s counsel. The chairperson of the commission, who presided over its sitting, allegedly disclosed that the commission would continue its proceedings and insisted Ranjita to bring almost all documents pertaining to purchase of a homestead land by her at Chalou village.
It was submitted before the high court that the chairperson directed the woman to bring the entire document pertaining to the said homestead land on the next date of hearing, which was fixed on June 30, 2021.
The chairperson allegedly warned that she would issue a warrant of arrest against the woman in the event of her failure to appear on the next date.
However, following the complaint lodged by Ranjita before the high court, it has suspended proceedings of MSWC in regards to the case.As per sources, the woman is reportedly married and has two minor sons. Since 2007, she had been staying at the house of her cousin located at Chalou Maning Leikai and started earning a livelihood by running a grocery shop at Lamlai Bazar and running a fish farm located at Langol.