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Gauhati HC stays Barpeta court observations on Assam police in Jignesh Mevani bail order

ANI | Updated: May 02, 2022 20:27 IST

Guwahati (Assam), May 2 (ANI): Gauhati High Court on Monday stayed observations made by the Barpeta district court against the Assam police in the bail order concerning Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani. The court, however, refused to stay the bail granted to the Independent MLA.
While granting bail to Mevani, the Barpeta district court had on Friday pulled up the state police for filing a "false FIR" against the MLA. The court had noted that the case against the MLA for alleged assault on a policewoman was "manufactured".
The district court had requested the Gauhati High Court to give directions to the Assam police to "reform itself" and to stop the state "from becoming a police state".
The Advocate General of Assam Debojit Saikia, representing the state of Assam and police, told the High Court that the district judge while exercising the jurisdiction under section 439 Cr.PC - which was primarily for the purpose of granting or refusing the bail - has made certain observations and remarks regarding the entire police force of Assam, "which not only demoralizes the police for also casts aspersion upon the police force".
Saikia urged the court to stay the observations "or else it would have a cascading effect on the morale of the Assam police as well as the state of Assam".
In its order, the Gauhati High Court said the observations by lower court were made without any material on record.
"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," the High Court said.
The order, passed by Justice Devashis Baruah, stated that the findings arrived by the Sessions Judge that the case has been manufactured for the purpose of keeping the accused Jignesh Mevani for a longer period abusing the process of court and law are "beyond the exercise of the jurisdiction of the sessions court in proceedings under section 439 CrPC".
"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," the court said.

"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," the court added.
Saikia told ANI later that the matter was moved before HC "where we clearly said that certain remarks made by District and Sessions Judge in bail application filed by Jignesh Mevani are very detrimental to interest and functioning of the Assam Police as well as to the reputation of State Government".
Saikia said they told the High Court that the remarks-observations were made "without there being any material on record in the court" and "therefore those remarks and observations need to be set aside".
"The HC passed an order to stay all the observations and remarks passed in the judgement of bail application," he added.
Saikia said the HC also issued a notice to Mevani fixing May 27 for further hearing of the case.
"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," he said.
Mevani was on Monday remanded to five days of police custody by a local court in the Barpeta district in connection with an assault case.
Mevani was re-arrested by Barpeta Police for allegedly assaulting a policewoman, soon after he was granted bail in the matter connected to his tweets about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Mevani was arrested by an Assam police team from Palanpur town in Gujarat over a couple of his tweets.
The Assam state Congress unit had protested the arrest of the Gujarat legislator. Elected as an independent MLA, Mevani had extended his support to Congress in September 2019. (ANI)