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Tripura HC quashes case against journo who wrote against state govt misrule
TIWN
Tripura HC quashes case against journo who wrote against state govt misrule
PHOTO : TIWN

NEW DELHI, March 16 (East Mojo): The rights of a petitioner cannot be ignored, said the Tripura High Court, as it quashed the Look-out Circular (LoC) issued by the Tripura Police against Saumen Sarkar, an NRI from Tripura who also runs a news portal from the United States of America.

Speaking with the reporter, advocate Amitabha Roy Barman said that in January last year, Tripura government issued an (LoC) against his client, Sarkar, for publishing a series of news on Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb.      “Various fake, politically-motivated cases were lodged against Saumen Sarkar, editor of TripuraInfoway.com, his senior citizen parents were harassed multiple times, photographers, journalists, office bearers were threatened, thrashed”, Barman said.  He also said that using police machinery, the government wanted to shut down Tripurainfoway.com news media with false complaints to the domain of the website.  “In the present case, no warrant of arrest issued by any court against the petitioner is pending and the petitioner is being represented by his engaged counsel. The notice under Section 41A of the Cr.P.C. was issued at a time when it was physically impossible for the petitioner to travel to India for contagion (Covid-19 lockdown).  Hence, his inability to appear before the police cannot be termed as deliberate. So far the question of impounding of the passport is concerned, no case has been made out by respondents No.1 and 2 (Tripura government, DGP and SP West Tripura district) in terms of Section 10(3) of the Passport Act. That apart, Passport Act does not authorize the Indian Passport Authority to cancel US Passport”, Justice Subhasish Talaptra said in his judgment.  Also read: TMC MLA slaps reporter: Siliguri journalist club demands apology  The single-bench justice also observed that as claimed by respondents No.1, 2 and 3, the petitioner’s case under Section 10(3) (e) of the Passport Act cannot be sustained in as much as the circumstance as stated in the clause-(e) is that in respect of the commission of the offence since the authority cannot be extended unless the travel document including a passport had been withheld by the criminal court in India or the holder of the passport has committed any offence.

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