The mother of accused in the case of alleged assault on a lady advocate has filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), saying she failed to get any support from the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC).
Longjam Rohit, 27, son of L Jibonkumar of Thangmeiband Maisnam Leikai, Imphal West was sent to 15-day judicial custody on Friday for allegedly assaulting a lady advocate on January 10, 2023.
The mother of the accused Ngangbam Gunibala Devi on Friday filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), saying the Manipur Human Rights Commission did not help her. No advocates were ready to take her son’s case, she said.
In a complaint to the NHRC, she stated that she met numerous advocates, mostly women advocates and even rushed to the courtroom where her son was to be brought after completing three days in police custody. But several advocates mounted pressure on the court to send her son in judicial custody.
Having no other alternative, she went to the MHRC office and requested one of the officials to ensure legal representation of her son. But the official said that MHRC could not initiate any proceedings though she had filed a complaint as the MHRC has no chairperson and members at the moment.
The mother came out with no help from MHRC. After a while, her son was produced before the court and was sent to jail. She was told that more stringent sections of IPC were added against her son.
She, therefore, urged the NHRC to direct the secretary, All Manipur Bar Association not to derogate the right of legal representation of her son, direct the Director General of Police, Manipur to initiate a departmental enquiry against the personnel of Women Police Station, Imphal West for filing false case against her son and to direct the Director General of Police, Manipur to entrust the investigation to another police officer and ensure collection of CCTV footage to establish facts of the incident.
In her statement, she stated that on January 10, 2023 at around 11 am, her son, Longjam Rohit and his friend namely Suaihamthai were driving along the Nagamapal Phougeishangbam Leikai road. Her son was the pillion rider. There was heavy traffic along Nagamapal road. In the midst of the traffic jam, accidentally, his vehicle slightly dashed one black vespa (scooter) driven by one Nongmaithem Tejpriya, who later identified herself as a lawyer.
There was no injury in the said accident, she said, adding when her son was about to leave the place after speaking to her, Tejpriya snatched the key of the Pleasure vehicle, accusing her son and his friend of hitting her vehicle. Her son requested her to return the key as both her son and his friend were to attend an urgent work, she said.
"My son also said that she (Tejpriya) took a photo of the registration number of the vehicle so that they could settle the matter later. To that, Tejpriya grabbed the collar (shirt) of his friend and pulled his hands here and there".
On seeing the scene at the spot, her son and passers-by tried to pacify the situation, the mother said, adding that when her son tried to intervene, she slapped her son and threatened him of dire consequences stating that she being a practicing advocate would file a case against her son and his friend.
After some argument, Tejpriya took a photograph of the vehicle and finally, her son and his friend were allowed to leave with the intervention of the passers-by. At around 4 pm the same day, some police personnel of Women PS, Lamphel came to her residence and the police team took her son along with them. She, along with her husband rushed to the police station where her son was detained.
She also stated that they found Tejpriya in the police station and they requested her to settle the matter. At the police station, Tejpriya further charged her son for mobilising a mob attack against her. At the instance of Tejpriya, the women police registered FIR No 02(01)2023 under section 354/509 IPC.
On January 11, her son was produced before the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Imphal West-I. Police sought three days' remand. During the hearing, counsel for her son showed a video clipping where the alleged incident was captured with a mobile phone.
In the video, it was clearly shown that Tejpriya was the one who provoked the incident and the passers-by who witnessed the incident also scolded her for accusing her innocent son. Bail application of her son was rejected and he was remanded to three days' police custody.
She stated that she met her son in the police station and her son told her that he was subjected to torture in the custody.
On January 13, 2023, the secretary of All Manipur Bar Association made a circular stating that “all members will abstain from doing their respective duties as counsels on January 13, 2023 from 11.30 am onwards till the end of the court, showing solidarity to N Tejpriya Devi, advocate, who was assaulted to outrage her modesty by one Longjam Rojit Singh.”
The mother further stated that none of the lawyers was ready to take her son’s case. Moreover, at the instance of Tejpriya, numerous advocates, mostly women advocates, rushed to the courtroom where her son was to be brought and mounted pressure on the court to send her son in judicial custody.
Having no alternative means, she rushed to the MHRC but the commission was unable to support her. Therefore, she filed a complaint to the NHRC and sought support for justice for her son, she added.