Man sent to custody for posting derogatory comment on CM’s Facebook page

'The accused was interrogated thoroughly in which he admitted the charges levelled against him'.


(Representational Image: Unsplash)

The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West on Tuesday remanded a man in judicial custody for 15 days for allegedly posting a derogatory comment on Chief Minister N Biren’s Facebook page.

The accused, Nongmaithem Boboy Singh, 22, son of N Saratkumar Singh of Takyel Khongbal Maning Leikai, Imphal West was produced before the court through video conferencing with a prayer of 15 days judicial custody by the investigating officer of the case.

A complaint lodged on September 19 by SI Kh Rajesh Singh of Cyber Crime Unit, Imphal West to the superintendent of police (CID/CB) and forwarded to superintendent of Police Imphal West stated that on September 17, the Social Media Monitoring Cell provided information of one Facebook user that goes by the social media handle ‘Boboy Nongmaithem’ posting a comment on CM’s Facebook page.

The counsel of the accused filed a bail prayer before the court. The additional public prosecutor of the state submitted that during the custody period, the accused was interrogated thoroughly in which he admitted the charges levelled against him.

On interrogation, he disclosed that he had started using Facebook in the year 2014 under the user name ‘Boboy Nongmaithem’.

It was submitted that on September 17, he was upset over an issue with his family members. On the same day, he happened to scroll through his Facebook newsfeed at about 11 am and came across one FB page titled ‘CM page/N Biren Singh’ which showed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi Birthday’ social service campaign organised by CM of Manipur at Ima Keithel, Imphal.

It was further submitted that on seeing the picture, without a second thought or having any ill intention to anyone, he posted the comment. Later, the same day, he deleted the comment.

It was submitted that it is highly required for the accused to be remanded into judicial custody as he posted the comment with intent to create enmity, hatred or ill will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or caste or communities and so as to enable to collect more prima facie evidence to substantiate the charge labelled against him.

The court after listening to arguments from both sides stated that the comment made by the accused on a Facebook post may have already made its rounds before it was deleted.

The court observed that the said comment directly targets the chief minister as evident from the fact that he posted the said comment on the very Facebook page of N Biren Singh. Further, the said comment also directly mentions an elected Prime Minister of India, the court stated.

The court observed that the comment is derogatory in nature and seems to show the hatred or ill-will of the accused against an elected representative of the state.

The court opined that the matter cannot be overlooked as it may create a negative precedent and may cause more harm than good. Therefore, the court allowed the prayer for remanding the accused into judicial custody for smooth investigation of the case.

 

First Published:Sept. 22, 2021, 8:52 a.m.

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