The Gauhati high court on May 2 stayed certain observations made by the Barpeta district and sessions court regarding the Assam Police on April 29 when it granted bail to Gujarat’s Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani.
High court judge Justice Devashis Baruah issued an order in response to the Assam government’s challenge to the Barpeta district and sessions court order, including the bail and the judge’s observations about the Assam Police.
According to the high court, the state of Assam, through its public prosecutor, is free to challenge the Barpeta district and sessions court order in an appropriate proceeding, if advised.
“….district judge…. has made certain observations and remarks as regards the entire police force of Assam, which not only demoralises the police force but also casts aspersions upon the police force. These observations were made without there being any materials on record, on the basis of which the learned judge could have made such observations and consequently, this court stays the… observations until further orders. These findings are also prima facie beyond the exercise of the jurisdiction of the sessions court in a proceeding under Section 439 CrPC and accordingly the said observation is also stayed,” the high court order said.
Mevani, speaking to the media in Delhi on May 2 and criticising prime minister Narendra Modi, referred to his arrest by Assam Police as a “conspiracy.”
“I can describe this 56-inches of cowardice, using a woman to frame me in a false case… the prime minister’s office was complicit in this plot,” he said.
He stated that the Assam government should be “ashamed” after the Barpeta district and sessions courts issued a strong statement granting him bail.
“The FIR was filed on April 19. On the same day, the Assam Police team travelled over 2,500 kilometres to arrest me. My arrest was clearly part of a premeditated plot to slander and harass me,” said Mevani, who is also the convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch.
On April 29, the district sessions court in Assam’s Barpeta granted bail to Mevani, who was initially arrested in Gujarat on April 20 by the Assam Police in connection with an “objectionable” tweet directed at prime minister Narendra Modi.