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Manipur HC quashed the FIR lodged maliciously against a RTI Activist

by Rinku Khumukcham
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(A story of patience, Trauma and Truth for fighting against corruption)

IT News
Imphal, March 10: The Chief Justice of High Court of Manipur Mr.RakeshRanjan Prasad quashed an FIR lodged maliciously against an RTI User on 24.02.2017 .The FIR bearing No.264 (9) 20115 PRT-PS u/s 420 IPC was lodged by Mr. Luis Ngasainao, Director, Agriculture Department against Mr.AyekpamKeshorjit Singh, Haobam Marak Iromleikai, Imphal for using forged BPL ration card while submitting RTI applications. The said FIR was lodged to the Porompat Police Station on 10.09.2015. In the complaint filed by Mr. Luis Ngaisanao to the Police, he mentioned that Mr.Keshorjit used two different BPL ration cards while he was filling RTI application to the Agriculture and Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Departments and he requested to investigate the BPL cards as he suspected both the ration cards. It may be mentioned that it is the second incident that the Government of Manipur harassed citizens who were questioning the Government by demanding transparency and accountability for using public money. In 2008, one Mr. Titus Kamei of Nungba Village, Tamenglong District was also arrested and detained under because he tried to find out the truth behind the controversial implementation of Rashtriya SramVikasYojana, RSVY in Tamenglong District, through RTI and thereafter released him unconditionally due to intervention by the Central Government.
Just after some days of filling the FIR, a team of Porompat Police Station came to the resident of Mr.Keshorjit Singh for arresting him. However, the unfortunate incident was not happen as Mr.Keshorjit was not in his home on the ill-fated day. Later on, he visited the Police Station and met the O.C. namely Th. Dinesh Singh and requested him to withdraw such malicious allegation. But the Police denied his sincere request. Being a whistle blower, Mr.Keshorjit was in mental agony, trouble and trauma for the last one and half years for the cause of transparency work and contention of corruption. It is shameful for some lawyers who advised their clients to file such malicious FIR against citizens which is amounted to harass and intimidation of innocent citizens unnecessarily.
Immediately, being aggrieved Mr. Keshorjit approached to the Session Court, Imphal East for interim bail and the Court passed an order for interim bail on 24.09.2015 and then an absolute bail was granted by the same court on 05.0.2015 (copy attached). However, the I.O. concerned denied to submit an FR till the expired of stipulated time period for submitting a charge sheet of the said alleged offence despite the fact that the District Supply Officer, CAF&PD, Imphal West submitted them that the said two BPL ration card were found to be correct and maintained both the cards in their office record. Thus Mr.Keshorjit filed a Cril. Misc. Application to the Court of CJM, Imphal East for calling a status report of the said FIR. On 02.11.2016, the Officer-in-Charge of Porompat Police Station namely Mr. AK. Shantikumar Singh submitted a status report to the Court stating that a charge sheet is to be submitted soon (copy attached). However, the Charge Sheet was never submitted which is lingering an innocent citizen by an FIR for many months unnecessarily and thus having no other efficacious avenue, Mr.Keshorjit file a write petition before the High Court of Manipur for quashing the said malicious FIR and thus the Hon’ble High Court issued an order stating that “ ..Here in the instant case, the allegation that the petitioner does have two BPL cards does not fall in any of the categories of making a false document. In that event, the question of offence of forgery being attracted never does arise.”..Advocate Wahengbam Ojit Singh represented Mr, Keshorjit at Session Court and CJM Court and Advocate Ms.SarvodayaLaksmi& her team represented in the High Court.
During the pendency of the said FIR, the Agriculture Department submitted wrong facts to the Manipur Information Commission so that Mr.Keshorjit was also compelled to bear all the unnecessary proceedings taken up against him and thereafter in July 2016, he was also accused by a proscribed group being misused of the RTI Act with Agriculture Department. It is revealed that if Mr. Keshorjit committed the said allegation, the Agriculture Department might not file the FRI. But such kind of frivolous acts of public authorities cannot sabotage the practice of participatory democracy through using RTI Act. Corruption could not be socially accepted norms longer in Manipur if every section of society particularly media can highlight corrupted practices of the public authority frequently. Now, the present order of the High Court indicates that corrupted public servants could never misuse the true spirit of law by filling such malicious allegations.

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