AR Major In Soup For Rubbing HC Judge The Wrong Way Over Right Of Way, AR Gives Its Version Matter Reaches PM, HM And COAS, Work Suspended

The campus of the Imphal bench of Gauhati High Court and the Chief Justice of this High Court. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, Apr 21: Protesting against the conduct of a Major of the Assam Rifles wherein he allegedly misbehaved with a Judge of the Gauhati High Court over a case of road rage or jostling for right of way, members of the High Court Bar Association, Manipur (HC- BAM) abstained from Court work today.

On the other hand, PRO of Hqs IG AR (S) said that the AR officer was travelling in his Gypsy on the BT Road Flyover when the convoy of Justice T Nandkumar came from behind.

Due to the heavy traffic, the convoy could not be given pass immediately. While overtaking the vehicle, one of the escorts in the convoy hurled abuses towards the officer.

The officer followed the convoy to the court complex, Lamphel and approached the Judge to inform him about the misconduct.

It was due to ignorance and being unaware of the protocol that the officer approached the Judge directly.

Though the officer was willing to apologies to the judge, he could not get an audience.

Even as an appointment was fixed at 11 am today for the apology, it could not materialize due to the busy schedule of the Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court.

A serious note has been taken of the act by Assam Rifle authorities and strict disciplinary action would be initiated against the officer concerned for the breach of protocol.

In insurgency wracked Manipur, it is not an uncommon sight to see security forces and escort driven personalities violating traffic norms and expecting everyone to give them the right of way, no matter the traffic snarl and traffic jam.

As resolved during a special emergency meeting convened by HCBAM today, the association has sent memoranda to the Prime Minister and the Union Ministers of Home, Defense and Law as well as the Chief Justice of Guwahati High Court, Chief of Army Staff and DG Assam Rifles urging them to take appropriate action against the officer of the country’s oldest paramilitary force.

Signed by the HCBAM secretary N Jotendro Singh, the memoranda, which was also forwarded to the GOC, Eastern Command and Inspector General of Assam Rifles (South) said confronting the Judge is a serious matter not only for the Judicial institutions but also for the uniformed service, where discipline is supposed to be their mantra.

Trouble began when Justice T Nandakumar Singh, who was moving in his flag car and escort vehicles , was denied passage by a jeep driven by Major Momo Sapam of 28 AR  at  Bir Tikendrajit road  in the heart of Imphal city today morning.

The Judge was on his way to attend an inaugural function of a District Court complex at Lamphelpat and his convoy managed to overtake the jeep despite the arguments of the right of way put forth by the Major, HCBAM members said.

Sapam, who is the Post Commander of the paramilitary force’s 28 BN (C-Coy), located at Chinga hillock here, then went after the Judge’s motorcade up to the complex where the function was on, they added.

In total disregard of discipline and decorum, the Major forcibly proceeded towards the Judge who had taken his seat  at the function venue and asked him to come out for a talk in spite of objections raised by some members of the bar, judicial officers as well as  police personnel present there.

“Only after the intervention of some high ranking police officials including a DIG, the AR officer left the place,” they said.  Incidentally, Justice Singh, a sitting judge of Gauhati High Court and Major Sapam, are residents of Imphal.  The Bar members also strongly condemned the ‘misbehavior and indiscipline’ demonstrated by Sapam, not only towards the Judge but also towards the Judicial institutions of the country.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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