Police directed to proceed investigation in defected BJP MLA Subaschandra assault case

The directive was issued by a single bench of Justice MV Muralidaran in response to a petition filed by Minister Bishwajit.

The Manipur High Court has directed the officer in-charge (OC) of Patsoi police station to proceed with the investigation in connection with the alleged assault case on defected Naoriya Pakhanglakpa MLA S Subaschandra by three Congress Legislators.

The court, however, directed the OC not to take “any coercive action against” Minister Th Bishwajit whose name was included in the official complaint lodged by Subaschandra.

The directive was issued by a single bench of Justice MV Muralidaran in response to a petition filed by Minister Bishwajit.

Subhaschandra lodged a complaint at the Patsoi police station alleging he was physically and mentally tortured compelling him to sign a resignation letter under extreme duress when he was in confinement during the recent political crisis in the state.

The disqualified MLAs further claimed that he was forcefully confined at the Patsoi residence of the managing director of HVS from June 17 till June 23.

It is also alleged that they (Congress MLAs) colluded with Th Bishwajit while obtaining the signature of S Subhaschandra in the resignation letter submitted before the Speaker on June 17.

Following the complaint, an FIR was lodged at Patsoi Police station under section 341/347/348/352/386/406/418/420/120-B IPC.

While Minister Bishwajit’s name was not included in the FIR, he filed a petition challenging the FIR and EO to be quashed.

Bishwajit’s counsel has contended that the FIR and EO is fraught with rank abuse of process of law designed only to falsely implicate in order to malign and damage the reputation and personality of his client who is discharging the duties of a senior cabinet minister.

Moreover, the petitioner’s counsel pointed out that MLA S Subhaschandra have made a self-clarification stating that though he had signed the complaint on the assurance given by some high profile functionary for revival of his MLAship and that he also volunteered to make it clear that if there was any allegation against minister Th Bishwajit, the allegation are baseless, false and concocted.

 

Given the fact, the counsel sought the intervention of the court to quash and set aside the FIR and OE lodged at Patsoi Police station. As, the petitioner Th Bishwajit who is currently functioning as minister, would suffer an irreparable loss once such criminal proceedings are initiated against him.

Accordingly, the court passed the order asking the OC to proceed with the investigation in the alleged forceful confinement and assault of MLA Subaschandra but without coercive action against Minister Bishwajit.

The single bench also directed public prosecutor, Y Ashang to file his objection for considering ‘locus standi’ of the minister for filing the criminal petitioner on August 4. The prosecutor has argued that though the petitioner’s name is mentioned in the OE, it is the wisdom of the investigating agency to implead the particular accused person in the FIR based on the investigation as per the OE filed on July 4. The petitioner’s name is not found placed as an accused at present. Therefore the petitioner has no 'locus standi' to challenge the FIR.

It is pertinent to note that the three Congress MLAs K. Meghachandra and Th Lokeshwar along with Huirdrom Vikramjit Singh, accused of wrongly confining and assaulting the defected MLA, was granted anticipatory bail by the Session Judge, Imphal West recently.

First Published: July 22, 2020, 9:21 a.m.