Be pragmatic, says Manipur to Erendro’s compensation plea in Supreme Court
NEW DELHI: Manipur activist Leichombam Erendro’s father on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to order compensation for the activist who spent over two months in jail over a Facebook post.
The bench of justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah, which ordered Leichombam Erendro’s immediate release on Monday, has sought the written response of the Manipur government to the plea for compensation.
During Tuesday’s court hearing, solicitor general Tushar Mehta, who appeared for Manipur, told the Supreme Court that Erendro was released from detention on Monday and the case filed against him under the stringent National Security Act was revoked.
Things should be allowed to rest at that, and the petitioner should follow a pragmatic approach in acknowledging that the relief has been granted, Tushar Mehta said.
The bench said it was the petitioner’s choice to seek relief from the court and gave the state two weeks to file its response. The next hearing is scheduled on August 6.
Appearing for Erendro’s father L Raghumani Singh, advocate Shadan Farasat told the top court that five cases were lodged against his son since 2017 and the state hadn’t filed a charge sheet in a single case.
The bench said it was a “serious matter” that Erendro had “lost his liberty since May”.
Leichombam Erendro was arrested on May 13 this year for his Facebook post which said that cow dung and urine is not a cure for coronavirus disease as its cure is by science and common sense. The post followed the death of state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Tikendra Singh. He was arrested after local BJP leaders filed a complaint against the social media post.
In the petition, Erendro’s father said his son’s statement was made in the context of the death of the president of the Manipur BJP due to Covid-19, “as a criticism of the unscientific position taken and misinformation being spread by several BJP politicians regarding cow urine and cow dung being effective in preventing/treating Covid-19”. He said the post was deleted soon after being posted on May 13.
“The present case is a shocking instance of misuse of preventive detention law to stifle completely innocuous speech that is fully constitutionally protected and was made in public interest,” the petition said.