FIR against MLA for visiting police station is a breach of privilege – O. Joy
Imphal, Jan 22:
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s strong warning for taking up a case against MPCC President Keisham Meghachandra, who is also an MLA from Wangkhem Assembly constituency, for visiting the Kakching Police Station in connection with the arrest of a police team carrying a huge quantity of illicit drugs, received a big blow from the Congress party stating that such words from a Chief Minister is unfounded and is a breach of privilege of a people’s representative in a democratic country like India.
“Not only in Manipur but in all the Commonwealth countries in the world, all members of a legislative assembly or parliament are enjoying the power, privilege, and immunities under the respective provision of their respective constitutions”, former Minister Okram Joy said while talking to media persons at Congress Bhavan today. He said that under the provision of the Indian constitution, the entry to any government or public offices by elected members of state assembly or parliament is well discussed in a specific chapter under the heading relations between the representatives and civil servants.
“Entering a government office by an elected member is not a crime or sin, but it is widely governed by principle and convention and is permissible by law and practice”, the veteran politician told media persons reacting to the Chief Minister’s order to file FIR against MLA Meghachandra for visiting the SP office of Kakching district. Okram Joy further said that lodging FIR against an MLA for rendering his service amounted to a breach of privilege.
MPCC President K. Meghachandra while speaking in the press conference told media persons that he had met the SP Kakching district to appreciate him for his achievement in the seizure of a huge quantity of drugs transported by a team of police commando personnel.
“On January 16, the day the Kakching police team arrested a team of another Kakching police along with a huge quantity of drugs from Pallel area, I was visiting some places near Khongjom. As I notice news regarding the arrest of a drug smuggler police team by a team of Kakching Police. I feel excited and wanted to appreciate the District Superintendent of Kakching Police. So I along with our congress members visited Kakching police station to extend support and appreciation for the successful operation”, Meghachandra told media persons.
In connection with his comment to media persons, Meghachandra told that neither he nor his congress party members organized the press meet. However, some media persons were already present inside the police station complex covering the news events for the seizure of the drugs. On seeing the Congress President visiting the Police station those media persons wanted his comment in connection with the drug seizure case and as an MLA and as the president of a political party he had given his statement and that too in support of the police and the government’s “war on drugs”.
Reacting to the Chief Minister’s statement Meghachandra further said that the Congress party had not given any opposition to the handling of drug haul-related cases to the CBI.
“It is unfortunate that the Chief Minister of a state said that if drug haul-related cases are supposed to be handed over to the CBI then the 28 drug haul-related cases from 2012 to 2016 will be handed over to CBI and not the remaining”, Meghachandra said adding that why not handed over the 28 cases where police personnel are involved as well as all the drug haul related cases that occurred between 2016 till today.
Meghachandra said that the congress party supports the “war on drugs” by the government but the people as well as the congress notice various lapses in the handling of drug haul-related cases and often find the kingpin of such cases released due to technical loopholes during the investigation the Congress demanded the case be handed over to CBI for winning the war on drugs.
MLA Meghachandra also stated that during the Congress regime, some of the high-profile drug haul cases were handed to CBI. When Okram Ibobi was the Chief Minister he handed over the drug seizure case at Airport to CBI even after there were allegations about the involvement of his nephew. The MLA also question the reliability of the Loukhosei Zou cases where he was acquitted by the court even after knowing that a huge quantity of drugs was seized from his official quarter. On the other hand, he also stated about a Myanmar National arrested but released and re-arrested again on a different act even after a huge consignment of drugs (WY tablet) belonging to him, smuggled by police personnel was rounded up by locals of Wangkhem Assembly Constituency and handed over to the police.