The Manipur High Court on Monday revoked the detention of journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem, who was booked for sedition under the National Security Act (NSA).
Imphal-based Wangkhem has spent over 130 days in prison for allegedly making derogatory comments against the BJP government in the state, and using “abusive” words against Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
A division bench of Justices L S Jamir and Kh Nobin set aside all consequential orders, including the detention order passed by the Imphal West DM, citing non-furnishing of the pictures with captions alleged to have been posted on Wangkhem’s Facebook wall, as well as a CD containing four clips, which were the main grounds for the detention order.
The court observed that the petitioner being merely made to sign that “he understood the contents” of the detention order would not indicate that the CD was furnished to him.
“Having come to the conclusion that non-furnishing of the pictures with captions alleged to have been posted on his Facebook wall… and the compact disc containing the four video clips has prevented the petitioner from making an effective representation, thereby vitiating the detention order dated 27.11.2018, we are of the considered opinion that it would not be necessary to address the other grounds taken by the petitioner against the detention order dated 27.11.2018,” the order by Justice L S Jamir read.
The court ruled that Wangkhem be “set at liberty forthwith unless he is not wanted in other cases”.
Wangkhem’s wife Elangbam Ranjita said, “We are really happy. We are hoping for him to be out of jail soon.”
Wangkhem’s advocate Chongtham Victor said, “We had appealed…on multiple points… The court took up the first point of non-furnishing of photos and videos…”