Mukul Sangma served legal notice over ‘drug kingpin’ remark in Assembly

ByDavid Laitphlang
Sep 24, 2023 01:55 PM IST

A legal counsel representing Henry Lalremsanga, the chairman of 2B’s Group of Companies demanded an unconditional apology from Mukul Sangma within 7 days for labelling Lalremsanga as a ‘drug kingpin’ in the Meghalaya state assembly

Former Meghalaya chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mukul Sangma has been served a legal notice by a legal counsel representing Henry Lalremsanga, the chairman of 2B’s Group of Companies demanding an unconditional apology within 7 days for labelling Lalremsanga as a ‘drug kingpin’ in the Meghalaya state assembly on Tuesday.

Mukul Sangma (File Photo)
Mukul Sangma (File Photo)

Sangma on Tuesday had accused Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma of links with a ‘drug kingpin’ from Mizoram, a charge that was trashed by the chief minister,

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He had levelled the accusation during a discussion in the assembly on the drug menace. He showed a photograph, saying that it featured the chief minister and Henry Lalremsanga at an event in New Delhi. Sangma said Lalremsanga was allegedly involved in drug trafficking and was arrested in this connection by the Delhi Police in 2013.

The legal notice served on him on Friday also asked him to immediately stop making or publishing any more false and defamatory remarks against Lalremsanga and a payment of 20 crore within 7 days of the receipt of this notice as compensation for injury to Lalremsanga’s reputation.

“Failure to comply with the stated demands within the stipulated time will compel Mr. Lalremsanga to pursue both criminal and civil legal actions, holding the perpetrators accountable for their defamatory statements,” the notice said.

The statement said, “Lalremsanga was wrongfully arrested in 2013 in relation to a seizure of medical supplies, despite holding a valid license for such supplies. He was discharged by the Special Court, ND & PS Act, Patiala House Court, New Delhi in 2018, citing a lack of evidence of any offence committed,” it said.

“The recent defamatory statements, void of factual basis, have caused significant distress to Lalremsanga, his family, and the businesses he oversees. These statements have also indirectly tarnished the image of the Mizo community,” it added.

The legal counsel for Lalremsanga contended that the ill-conceived remarks are not only detrimental but are made with deliberate intentions to gain political mileage, thereby knowingly causing harm to his reputation. It was further stressed that these baseless allegations have resulted in irreversible damages, impacting longstanding business relationships and causing extreme mental and emotional distress to Lalremsanga and his family.

Responding to the notice, Mukul Sangma said that the provisions under which the notice was slapped on him will be read, and accordingly his team will take up the matter.

“Which provisions of law provides Lalremsanga the opportunity to send me such a legal notice will be examined, and accordingly we will act,” he told HT over phone.

He said that the statements made inside the House were very clear as it was more of an advisory to the chief minister, and it is only the chief minister who took it out of the House.

He refrained from commenting on speech of MPs and MLAs being protected under Articles 105 and 194 and said that these laws are available, and it is up to the media to interpret things in whichever way they like.

“What I have said in the House is available, it is in the public domain. Though it has been expunged subsequently,” he said.

He said the issue was brought in the House because of the alarming situation in the Northeast and added that many members had highlighted the same issue.

“In the last five years there has been expansional growth of the supply chain nexus, creating easy access for end users. It is a matter of concern and responsibility of the government to see how we can go against these things,” he said.

He further questioned if the relevant laws in place are being effectively implemented in the state.

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