Adelbert in judicial custody

former KHADC CEM Adelbert Nongrum going to High Court on Monday. (Photo by Sanjib Bhattacharjee).

I can send you to Andaman, Chief Justice tells ex-CEM

SHILLONG: Meghalaya High court on Monday sent former KHADC CEM Adelbert Nongrum to judicial custody in connection with contempt of court case filed against him.
Nongrum, who has been on indefinite hunger strike since Saturday demanding the state government’s nod to the Village Administration Bill, 2014, was sent to Shillong District jail at around 9.30 pm after the formal handover of the court order.
It is learnt that the former KHADC CEM will continue his indefinite hunger strike even in the jail.
While issuing the order, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice TNK Singh directed Adelbert to file his statement of defence on the charges levelled against him and submit show-cause on or before the next date of hearing.
Nongrum was dragged to the court after he publicly made an allegedly derogatory statement earlier this year against the court ruling derecognizing powers of the traditional heads.
“Till then in view of your acts of committing criminal contempt on the face of this court, you are detained in custody in exercise of powers under Section 14 of the Contempt of Courts Act read with Article 215 of the Constitution of India. The police and jail authorities are thus directed to admit the contemnor to custody in compliance with this order with further direction to produce him before the court as when he (the contemnor) desires to file an application for bail as well as show cause statements for consideration,” the Chief Justice stated in the order.
The order also stated that the Registrar General shall prepare and issue warrant of custody under the High Court Rules in terms of this order.
“Further, the contemnor through his counsel is granted liberty to mention matter for listing as and when he decides to file show-cause statements as well application for bail,” the order stated.
While referring to the recent statement of Nongrum which was reported in a section of the media that he will continue to oppose to the High Court ruling till the last breath, the order said that such contemptuous statement obviously, only goes to show his lack of faith in the rule of law, the Constitution and the also the justice dispensation system of the country.
Earlier, during the hearing, an angry Chief Justice even threatened to send Adelbert to either Andaman and Nicobar jail or Arunachal Pradesh. The Chief Justice later stated that he would send the former KHADC CEM to Williamanagar district jail.
“Ask him to be careful while uttering his words against the court. How can he make such statement when the matter is pending before the court,” the Chief Justice told the legal counsel of Nongrum HS Thangkhiew.
To an appeal of the legal counsel, he said that the court would not accept any oral apology.
“He (Nongrum) has to give an undertaking that he will not make such statement questioning the authority of the court in the future and also tender a written unconditional apology,” the Chief Justice added.
Meanwhile, young Goldy Warjri, who has been accompanying Adelbert in his indefinite fast, has decided to continue his symbolic protest.