Man sent to custody on charges of instigating revolt against CM Biren
Former financial secretary of All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM) in 12-day Judicial Custody till July 9 in connection with a Facebook post that allegedly instigated the tribal people to revolt against the Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West on Monday remanded former financial secretary of All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM) in 12-day Judicial Custody till July 9 in connection with a Facebook post that allegedly instigated the tribal people to revolt against the Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
ATSUM former financial secretary Henkhokai Singsit alias Kakai Singsit, about 36 years, son of Khupsei Singsit, a permanent resident of Motbung PO, Motbung Police Station, GS Sapermeina under Kangpokpi district, was produced before the court through video conference (using Jitsi Meet) with a prayer for remanding him in judicial custody for 15 days.
During the hearing, the additional public prosecutor for the state submitted that the accused person under his Facebook profile name ‘Kakai Singsit’ posted a statement which went viral. It was submitted that the statement posted by the accused in social media gave “a direct insult, disaffection, and disloyalty” to the present chief minister N Biren Singh.
It was also submitted that his Facebook post promotes or attempts to promote, on ground of religion, caste or community, a disharmony, feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will among different religions and races, language or regional group of community, to act in a prejudicial way against maintenances of harmony which is likely to disturb the public tranquillity.
It was submitted that his statement instigated to incite all the tribal people to revolt against the chief minister to throw him out. The additional public prosecutor prayed for remanding the accused person in judicial custody for refraining him from absconding.
The counsel for the accused submitted that the accused was a former financial secretary of ATSUM and an active social worker. It was submitted that the accused person’s wife had expired, leaving their two children, and he had been looking after the children. It was further submitted that the charges levelled against the accused are under the sections of the IPC and that the nature of the case is under the law and section of Cyber Crime (IT Act, 2000).
It was also submitted that the accused had not made any statement against the country, or against any government or against the people of the land, and therefore, 124-A IPC is not applicable in this case. The counsel further submitted that the accused person was merely exercising his right to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution of India.
It was further submitted that the accused is quite innocent of the charges levelled against him and there is no evidence against the accused. With these, the counsel prayed the court for rejecting the remand prayer of the investigating officer and to let him on bail.
On hearing and examining the facts and materials placed before the court, it opined that the remarks made by him are communal in the sense that he termed a democratically elected chief minister as “destroyer of tribal people.”
It was further observed that the accused, with his remarks, was raising a false alarm among the masses that the chief minister was likely to do communally biased acts and the same was slanderous and misleading. The court opined that the criticism in Indian democracy is acceptable but when it becomes sarcasm, the person who originates/publishes the same is liable to be booked for allegedly committing the offence of criminal defamation apart from other relevant offences.
The court stated that it found proper to remand the accused into judicial custody at this stage and remanded him in 12-day judicial custody.