HC registers case against Nongrum

KHADC CEM accused of making defamatory statements against Judge, challenging Judiciary

SHILLONG: The High Court of Meghalaya on Wednesday registered a case against KHADC Chief Executive Member (CEM) Adelbert Nongrum for allegedly making derogatory and defamatory statement against a judge of the court.
Justice SR Sen has directed the Registrar General of the Court to register a complaint against Nongrum for allegedly trying to lower the image of the Judiciary and throwing an open challenge to the Judiciary.
The High Court has decided to register the case on the basis of reports which appeared in a section of the local English dailies.
As per the order, Justice Sen directed the Registrar General to register a case under Article 215, 266 of the Indian Constitution and the Contempt of Court Act, 1971.
Justice Sen further directed the Registrar General to issue show cause notices to Nongrum as to why contempt proceeding should be not be initiated against them for such ‘derogatory, defaming and contemptuous statements and also to two local dailies (The Shillong Times and Meghalaya Times) for publishing the same.
“Let the notice be served through the Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills, along with the copy of the order as well as photo copy of the news items which had been mentioned. Deputy Commissioner is also directed to furnish the service reports within two days by way of affidavit,” the order stated.
“Respondents are directed to be present personally and to file their respective show cause on or before January 27 without fail. No further adjournment will be allowed for the show cause,” the order stated.
Justice Sen observed that after reading the news report, he found that Nongrum was trying to lower the image of the Judiciary and had thrown an open challenge to the Judiciary.
Justice Sen also took exception to Nongrum’s comments that there was a hidden agenda against the indigenous community behind the said ruling.  “In my opinion he (Nongrum) is instigating and misleading the people for reasons best known to him. If anyone is not satisfied with any judgment, he has the right to make an appeal but he has no business to challenge the Judiciary or to give any kind of derogatory or defamatory statement against any Judge in particular or against institution in general,” Justice Sen said.
“A Judge does not have any caste, religion or language or any personal agenda and he is above all those practices and his only motive is to ensure that rule of law prevails and dignity of the Constitution is upheld,” the Judge said.
Justice Sen’s reaction comes in the wake of statements by the KHADC CEM published on December 31 (Meghalaya Times) and January 8 (The Shillong Times) in which he had commented against the observation made by the court in December last year questioning the role of traditional bodies (Dorbar Shnong).

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