Agartala: While hearing the sensational case of former West Tripura district magistrate (DM) Shailesh Kumar Yadav, the High Court of Tripura on Tuesday observed that 13 women and six children were detained from the marriage party and taken to women’s police station in the night hours.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice AA Kureshi and Justice Arindam Lodh was hearing the case after an inquiry committee submitted its report on May 13.
The division bench observed that the committee in the report had come to the conclusion that the 13 women and six childrenon detained in the night of the incident, April 26, were released in the early hours of the morning.
“They had to arrange their own transportation to return to their residences. The report also suggests that taking men, women and children to the police stations and detaining them for about two hours was totally unnecessary, unjust and unreasonable. This is undoubtedly a very serious matter,” the court observed.
The CJ further said that the report submitted by the inquiry committee does not indicate as to under whose orders the members of the marriage party including women and children were detained.
“Let the committee carry out further inquiry into this aspect and submit its additional report in sealed covers before the court on the next date of hearing,” the CJ added.
After hearing the arguments made by advocate general Siddhartha Shankar Dey, who represented the state, and the counsel of three petitioners, the CJ asked the committee to provide more information before the court on the next date of hearing on June 22.
Advocate general SS Dey had requested the court to allow the transfer of Shailesh Kumar Yadav back to West Tripura district looking at the present situation. However, the court did not allow the relaxation since the inquiry was still going on.
Shailesh Kumar Yadav, the now relieved West Tripura DM, shot into the limelight after a video of him thrashing a groom for flouting night curfew went viral on April 27.
Following this, the DM faced major backlash from politicians, netizens and locals, while many others showed their support for the officer.
In the video, the Tripura DM was seen thrashing the groom by his collar, beating the priest and using unparliamentary language against relatives.
After appearing before the committee, Yadav had told EastMojo: “It is my duty to enforce the law and maintain order for the preventive spread of COVID-19. That’s what I did that night and I stand by whatever I did.”
The advocate general also raised the matter of the press once again and said, “May the press not gag any one of us. That is my humble hope and my lord I will aspire to that level.”
In response to that, the chief justice said: “We don’t intend to block the press and this hearing itself is in open court. We have not blocked the press. And they are allowed and welcome.”
“We do not look at the press with any suspicion or even any degree of discomfort. Press is extremely important to our democracy. Our confidence in the press is not yet shaken and there are incidents here and there we are always able to take care of,” the CJ added.