Special judge appeals HC Registrar General to transfer Zou case to appropriate court

Questions have been raised from various quarters regarding the efficacy of the court to conduct a fair and free trial.

Special Court (ND&PS), Manipur Judge on Monday appealed the Registrar General of the High Court of Manipur to transfer alleged drug kingpin Lhukhosei Zou’s case to an appropriate court except the former president officer of the court.

Special Court (ND&PS), Manipur Judge A Noutuneshwari Devi in a letter addressed to the Registrar General of the High Court of Manipur stated that due to unsubstantiated allegations leveled against her in special trial case of drug haul case of 2018, questions have been raised from various quarters regarding the efficacy of the court to conduct a fair and free trial. Many individuals have questioned her integrity as well as the integrity of the court without any substance or proof, said the letter.

The situation has become tensed that the public are criticising in social media platforms by undermining the image of the judiciary and intervening in the proceedings of the court which is now feeling reluctant to conduct the trial, she mentioned.

She requested the transfer of the trial to another appropriate court except the court of her immediate former presiding officer as the judge had passed an order in June 2019 in cril. Misc. case no 67 of 2019 on the submission made by then special Public Prosecutor (PP), T Bipinchandra stating that there is sufficient grounds for allowing to deposit the seized currency notes amounting to Rs 57,18,000 and further directed to deposit the currency amount after preparing inventory of different denomination to SBI secretariat branch. The application was filed by one Y Sushil Kumar who was neither an IO nor a cited witness in the said case of the prosecution as per charge-sheet counterfoil, said the letter.

In her letter, the judge also mentioned that on June 12, 2020, while examining the prosecution witnessed Ashok Kumar Oinam, the first Investigating Officer (IO) of the case, special PP Koshia Mao submitted that she would not produce the seized amount of the money (Rs 57, 18,000 only) from different accused persons since the amount has already been deposited in the account of SP NAB PS being account no. 38398015820 at SBI secretariat branch as per order of June 2019.

Special PP also submitted that since the seized amount has been deposited in the bank in normal course meant that it was not deposited in the bank locker, as such the nature and character of the original seized amount will be destroyed and cannot be recovered. Therefore, it was of no use for production in the court as it cannot be exhibited in the instant trial, said the letter.

 
 
 
 

 

First Published:June 15, 2020, 10:31 p.m.