CJM Imphal East sets free MSAD advisor ‘Veewon Thokchom’ on bail
Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Imphal East, Ningthoujam Lanleima, today granted bail to the advisor of Manipur Student’s Association Delhi (MSAD), Veewon Thokchom, saying no sufficient ground found on ‘prima facie’ to sedition charge slapped against him.
He was set free after furnishing a bail bond of Rs 30,000 and under certain conditions.
The court asked the accused to attend in accordance of the bond executed by him and not commit any offence similar to the one he is accused. The accused shall not directly or indirectly make inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the courts or to the police officers or tamper with the evidence.
Veewon was brought to Imphal this afternoon by a team of Imphal East police by flight.
The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed his plea against a four days transit remand, granted by a south Delhi court.
From the Airport he was directly taken to the court of CJM, Imphal East wherein the additional public prosecutor (APP), prayed that police custody of the accused is highly required for investigation. But, Veewon’s counsel, however, raised remand objection on several grounds including that he has not committed any offence except uploading a Facebook post which he already admitted.
Thokchom was charged with sedition in addition to under section 153A/353 IPC for uploading a Facebook post which said, “Indefinite curfew imposed in Manipur. Internet banned for 5 days. All cable network asked not to cover any speech or footage of the protest. High possibility that CAB will be passed today at Rajya Sabha. Manipur once burned down the state Assembly in 2001. Self-determination the only way forward”.
The court in an order said, it is not stated anywhere the accused committed any other act, apart from uploading the said facebook post. Grant of police custody cannot be conducted in a routine manner, remand prayer is allowed if there exist well-founded accusations for the commission of an offence, it added.
“In the present case, the contents of the Facebook post as mentioned above cannot be stated to bring into hatred or contempt or exercise disaffection towards the Government established by law.
At most, the accused mention the incident of burning of Assembly with approval, but I do not find any attempt or incitement to commit violence. After consideration of the materials on record, I do not find the Facebook post as mentioned above to be prima facie seditious”, said the court’s order.
“People of Manipur know what is wrong and what is right. I am happy with the decision given by the court today”, said Veewon Thokchom after his release.
Veewon Thokchom, who is also the former advisor of MSAD was arrested by a team of Manipur police from his rented house in Delhi Paryavaran complex Saket last Friday. The former president of MSAD was vocal during the agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Manipur.
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