Book Addl SP Brinda for ‘derogatory’ remarks: Judicial association tells cybercrime unit

The All Manipur Judicial Officers’ Association (AMJOA) on Saturday lodged a complaint against NAB Addl SP Thounaojam Brinda with the Superintendent of Police (SP), Cyber Crime

The All Manipur Judicial Officers’ Association (AMJOA) on Saturday lodged a complaint with the Superintendent of Police (SP), Cyber Crime, asking the unit to book Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) Additional SP Thounaojam Brinda and her followers for alleged “derogatory comments” posted on Facebook.

The complaint stated that Thounaojam Brinda had put out a post on Facebook which content was “defamatory and contemptuous” and had grossly affected and undermined the sanctity of the judicial institution. “The follow-up comments of the readers of the Facebook post are more damaging to the judicial system, setting a bad precedent of legitimizing mob justice in the state,” said the complaint.

The AMJOA complaint addressed to the SP, Cyber Crime stated that an emergency meeting of the association was held on Saturday and all members of the association had taken the “publication of such derogatory and contemptuous statement against the judicial institution very seriously and condemned the same in its highest multitude”.

The association asked SP Cyber Crime to seriously look into the matter and take up necessary steps for blocking/freezing the Facebook account of Thounaojam Brinda, Addl SP NAB. The AMJOA also asked the cybercrime unit to book her and her followers who have posted derogatory reactions to the original post under the Information Technology Act and other relevant laws so as to further stop such “online activities undermining the image of the judicial institution”.

It may be mentioned that on May 20, Director General of Police (DGP), Manipur, LM Khaute had issued a notice stating that some officials and personnel of Manipur Police Department have been posting/uploading controversial/anti-government/anti-establishment comments/views/pictures/video clips on social media platforms and sometimes in the print and electronic media, causing embarrassment to the police department and state government.

The DGP also brought to the notice of all officials and personnel of Manipur police department that such activities are “undesirable and unbecoming of members of a disciplined force”. “It is hereby directed that due care should be taken while using social media platforms and while airing one's opinion comments/views in the media,” notified the DGP.

The notice added that the senior police officers and unit commanders should pass down the instructions to all officers and personnel working under them immediately. “Any deviation from the instructions shall be dealt with firmly,” the DGP said.

Additional SP NAB Thounaojam Brinda on her Facebook page, apparently referring to the interim bail granted to alleged drug kingpin and former ADC Chandel chairman Lhukhosei Zou, had posted that “Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act carries reverse burden of proof with a culpable mental state of the accused. He is presumed to be guilty consequent to recovery of contraband from him, and it is for the accused to establish his innocence unlike the normal rule of criminal jurisprudence that an accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty. But that does not absolve the prosecution from establishing a prima facie case only whereafter the burden shifts to the accused”.

The Additional SP further wrote in Manipuri that drugs were seized from the possession of the accused. She also wrote if the judge of the Special ND&PS Court wanted a “public trial”, so be it, that she will teach the judge for free what law is, and advised “not to sell the land”. “Just because you preside a Court does not permit you to sacrilege it,” she posted.

First Published:May 24, 2020, 8:23 a.m.