Gangtok: A case has been filed against former Martam-Rumtek MLA Mechung Bhutia, who is also a skilled doctor, and his team under Section 188 of the IPC for entering Kupup ward in East Sikkim district.

Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, Kupup was earlier declared a containment zone.

Section 188 of the IPC covers offences related to ‘contempt of lawful authority of public servants’. The provision specifically deals with the offence of disobedience to an order duly passed by a public servant.

However, Section 195(1)(a) of the CrPC provides that no court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under Section 172 to Section 188 of the IPC except on a written complaint of the public servant concerned or of his superior.

Bhutia, who is currently with the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), told EastMojo that he is yet to be intimated on the filing of the case or the reported violation of the containment zone order.

“I have come to know that a case has been filed against us for entering a containment zone in Kupup. However, we had taken due permission from the SP. Panchayat members had informed us about some of the problems that the people in Kupup were facing. That is the only reason we had gone there,” he said.

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“We visited primary contacts of COVID-19 patients but by strictly following the SOP. We conducted tests, distributed medicines to people, including police personnel and health staff,” said Bhutia.

“We provided nebuliser sets and oxymeters to health centres through the nurses in charge. We also distributed medicines. We visit only when we get requests from people, patients, volunteers or panchayat members,” said Bhutia, who first became an MLA on a Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) ticket in 2014 but defected to SDF in 2015.

Bhutia said he would take the matter to court, as he insisted that he has not violated any rule under the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005.

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