The Gauhati High Court stayed the observations made by the Barpeta district court against the Assam Police on Monday in the bail order of Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani. However, the court refused to stay the bail granted to Mevani.
The Barpeta district court had granted bail to Mevani on Friday and pulled up the state police for filing a ‘false FIR’ against the MLA from Gujarat. It noted that the case against Mevani of allegedly assaulting a policewoman was ‘manufactured’.
The district court had also requested the Gauhati High Court to direct the state police to ‘reform itself’ and to stop Assam from becoming a ‘police state’, reported ANI.
Debojit Saikia, the Advocate General of Assam, who is representing the state and police, argued in the court that district judge has made certain observations and remarks regarding the entire police force in the state while exercising the jurisdiction under section 439 CrPC. He said that it “not only demoralizes the police for also casts aspersion upon the police force”.
Saikia pleaded with the court to stay the observation “or else it would have a cascading effect on the morale of the Assam police as well as the state of Assam”.
The High Court noted that the lower court’s observations were made without any material on record. It said, “These observations were made without there being any materials on record on the basis of which a learned judge could have made such observations and consequently, this court stays the above quotes observations until further orders.”
Justice Devashis Baruah’s order stated that the findings of the sessions judge that charges against Mevani were manufactured to keep him for a longer period, are “beyond the exercise of the jurisdiction of the sessions court in proceedings under section 439 CrPC.”
The court said, “These findings are also prima facie beyond the exercise of the jurisdiction of the sessions court in proceedings under section 439 CrPC and, accordingly, the said observation is stayed.”
“It is clarified that the instant order may not be construed in any manner as a stay to the grant of the bail to the learned Sessions Judge in his order,” it added.
Meanwhile, Saikia said that the Gauhati HC has issued a notice to Mevani and fixed May 27 for hearing in the case.
He said, “It directed that the Police Department, through the Public Prosecutor, can file a separate case if they are so advised or aggrieved regarding the bail granted to Jignesh Mevani.”
The Gujarat MLA had been arrested first for his tweets against Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the Assam Police from Gujarat’s Palanpur.
Soon after getting bail in the case, he was re-arrested on charges of allegedly assaulting a policewoman. He had been remanded to five days of police custody by a local court in the Barpeta district.