Case against Jignesh Mevani ‘manufactured’, rules court; cautions against Assam turning into police state

‘Case was manufactured for purpose of keeping accused Jignesh Mevani in detention for a longer period,’ Barpeta Sessions Judge said while granting bail to Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani

Gujarat’s Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani (File photo)
Gujarat’s Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani (File photo)
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NH Web Desk

While granting bail to Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani on Friday, a court in Assam came down heavily on the state police for trying to implicate him in a "manufactured case" of assault on a woman constable.

"If the instant case is accepted to be true and in view of the statement of the woman recorded by the magistrate...which is not, then we will have to rewrite the criminal jurisprudence of the country," Barpeta Sessions Judge Aparesh Chakravarty said.

"Contrary to the FIR, the woman has given a different story before the learned magistrate...In view of the testimony of the woman, the instant case is manufactured for the purpose of keeping the accused Jignesh Mevani in detention for a longer period, abusing of the process of the court and the law," the court said.

The judge also requested the Gauhati High Court to consider directing the Assam Police to reform itself by taking some measures like directing each and every police personnel engaged in law and order duty to wear body cameras, to install CCTV cameras in vehicles while arresting an accused or taking an accused to some place for the discovery of some articles and for such other reasons and also to install CCTV cameras inside all the police stations.

"To prevent registration of false FIR like the present one and to give credibility to the police version of occurrences...and police personnel firing and killing or injuring such accused, which has become a routine phenomenon in the state, the Hon'ble Gauhati High Court may perhaps consider directing the Assam Police to reform itself by taking some measures like directing every police personnel to wear body cameras, to install CCTV in vehicles while arresting an accused...Otherwise our state will become a police state, which the society can ill afford," the sessions court said.

“Even opinion is growing in the world for providing next generation human rights to the people in the democratic countries like right to recall an elected representative, right to destabilise an elected government, etc. therefore, converting our hard earned democracy into a police state is simply unthinkable and if the Assam Police is thinking about the same, the same is perverse thinking," the court observed as it requested the Chief Justice of Gauhati HC to consider whether the matter may be taken up as a Public Interest Litigation to curb the ongoing police excesses in the state.

Mevani was arrested in the assault case on April 25 just after he was granted bail by another court in Assam in a case over tweets on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mevani has alleged that the ruling party is behind his arrest on the tweets against PM Modi and the subsequent alleged assault on the woman constable.

After he was released on Friday, Mevani said the ruling BJP by "using a woman" to "frame a case" against him has done a "cowardly thing".

"My arrest was not a simple matter. It must have been done under the instruction of political bosses at the PMO (Prime Minister's Office)," he was quoted as saying by NDTV.

"...And in the second case, they cooked up a story to frame a case by using a woman. The government is such a coward that it used a woman against me. Such a cowardly act it is," the Gujarat MLA said, adding the ruling BJP is doing all this with an eye on the Gujarat election, which will be held later this year.

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