The High Court of Manipur has directed the district magistrate, Imphal West, Manipur government and the central government to submit counter affidavit against the petition filed by ISTV former staff, Kishorchandra Wangkhem challenging his detention order under National Security Act (NSA) by February 1, 2019.
Wangkhem, who is serving a one year term under NSA, filed the petition on Wednesday challenging the detention order under the Act.
Wangkhem was taken into custody on November 27 under the NSA following an order of the district magistrate Imphal West. On November 14, Manipur Government fixed his detention period for 12 months, which is the maximum under the Act, after the approval of the NSA advisory board.
In his petition, Wangkhem prayed to the court to quash the detention order contending that none of the ground furnished to the petitioner covers the expression of “prejudicial to the security of the state and to the maintenance of public order”.
It also mentioned, “The grounds of detention are vague and the allegations made therein did not lend apprehension for acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the state and to the maintenance of public order. Those so-called grounds merely relate to freedom of speech and expression at best.”
Meanwhile, Kishorchandra’s wife, E. Ranjita submitted a letter written by former Supreme Court justice, Markandey Katju addressing to the Chief Justice and his subordinates to the High Court.
The retired Supreme Court Judge, posted the “letter petition” on his Facebook wall requesting individual concerned with the case to submitted the same to the Chief Justice of the High Court.
The letter stated, “My lord the judiciary is the protector and guardian of the fundamental rights of the people. You have taken an oath to uphold the constituency. Please don’t just ignore the flagrant violation of the rights of the people like Bheeshma Pitamah during the ‘cheer haran’ of Draupadi but act like Lord Krishna who saves the honour by quashing the manifest order of the state government.”
“It is of the essence of democracy that people have the right to criticise the government or ministers, for what else is a democracy but rule by the people. The chief minister of Manipur is behaving like a Little Dictator (to paraphrase the title of Charlie Chaplin’s famous film ‘The Great Dictator’),” it also mentioned.
Wangkhem was arrested on November 20 after he uploaded a video criticizing the BJP led Manipur Government for organizing Rani of Jhansi, birth anniversary and also using abusive words to RSS, BJP leader besides calling Chief Minister N. Biren Singh a puppet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was charged with sedition among others.
But later, he was released by a city court terming his expression nothing but a street language.