Advocate who uploaded video conversation at customs office released on bail

The advocate was released on bail by furnishing PR bond of Rs 50,000 and surety like amount.

Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal East on Sunday released an advocate who allegedly uploaded a video conversation on social media without the knowledge of the concerned individuals, on bail by furnishing PR bond of Rs 50,000 and surety like amount.

Chongtham Victor, the advocate was released on bail by the court on conditions that he will attend court in accordance with the bond executed by him and will not commit an offence similar to the one he is accused of and will cooperate with the investigation of the case.

The court order mentioned that on perusal the submission from counsel and IO of the case, the main grievances of the case seems to be that the video recording of the events at the customs office and his conversation with the alleged accused and other Amom Malemsana was secretly recorded and uploaded in the social media. However, it was not alleged that the contents of the recording was false but merely stated that the same was done without the knowledge of the individuals concerned. No rule or law has been placed on record to state such recording attracts any penal action.

The case is related to one of the customs officers, Thokchom Nilakanta who complained to police on June 18 that one Amom Malemsemba Meitei had approached the customs office with one custom seizure case of 2019 for release of vehicle. Amom Malemsemba produced a special power of attorney which was stated to be executed by the registered owner of the vehicle namely Aditya Ghosh. It is stated that the power of attorney executed by the registered owner suffered from many defects and the signature of the registered owner is different from the one found in the supradnama and as such there was objection from the godown officer to act on the power of attorney. Due to his objection, Amom Malemsemba provoked the godown officer with ill motives, said the court.  

The scene that occurred at the customs office was secretly taped by Amom Malemsemba despite notice displayed at the entrance that “Visitors mobile and electronics devices are not allowed” and uploaded at the social media and news channel on June 3 and June 8 by Chongtham Victor under his facebook account with the allegation that customs officials demanded money from the public as well as the advocate.

Again, on June 10 they were called to the customs office about the record and upload but that conversation was again uploaded in social media with an allegation that Thokchom Nilakanta tried to threaten them. The complainant stated that the action of the accused persons amounted to obstruction of the duty while discharging their duty.

Police before the court filed a remand petition for investigation on the ground that the main accused Amom Malemsemba is required to be arrested and he was evading arrest.

However, alleged accused’s counsel submitted that the accused is practising advocate, he has been arrested for exposing corruption of the custom officials. There is no ground for allegation that any forgery has been committed in respect of the power of attorney executed by Aditya Ghosh, the registered owner and it is a totally baseless allegation.

It is also mentioned that Aditya Ghosh also wrote a letter to SP Custom stating that he had executed the power of attorney in favour of Amom Malemsemba and releasing the vehicle to him.

First Published:June 21, 2020, 11:28 p.m.