New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the release of activist Erendro Leichombam who was detained under National Security Act (NSA) for his Facebook post criticising ruling Bharatiya Janata Partyu (BJP) leaders advocating cow dung and cow urine as cures for Covid.
Hailing from Maniour, Leichombam, a post-graduate in public administration from Harvard university, was arrested for his Facebook post. His father L. Raghumani Singh had moved the top court for the release of his son Leichombam.
Saying that Leichombam can’t be kept behind the bars even for a day more, Justice D.Y.Chandrachud heading a bench also comprising Justice
M.R.Shah said that he will be released by 5 pm today.
Ordering the release with Leichombam furnishing a personal bond of Rs 1000/-, the court in its order said, “We are of the view that continued detention of the petitioner would be a violation of right to life and personal liberty under Article 21. We accordingly direct that the petitioner shall be released forthwith …”
The court further ordered that its e order has to be complied with on or before 5 pm today,
“He cannot be kept in jail even for a day. We will order his release today,” Justice Chandrachud said as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the government, sought a day’s time to take instructions.
L Raghumani Singh in his petition had said that the detention of Leichombam is a reprisal for his criticism against ruling party leaders advocating cow-dung and cow-urine as cures for Covid.
The petition further said that it was a shocking instance of misuse of preventive detention law to stifle completely innocuous speech that is fully protected by the constitution and was made in public interest.
Recalling April 2021 order of the top court restricting police across the country from proceedings against the people for their social media posts critical of Covid policies being followed by the government. The petition said that the detention of Leichombam was in contempt of the April 30, 2021 order of the top court in the suo motu case of Covid in which the court had said that no one should be punished for critiquing Covid policies over social media....