Notice to Manipur on detention of a juvenile militant

February 16th, 2009 - 9:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday sought a reply from the Manipur government to a plea from the father of a juvenile who has been arrested and dubbed as a militant in the northeastern state.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam issued a notice to the Manipur government on a lawsuit of the 17-year-old suspected militant’s father Nadeibam Juendra Meitei. The father has submitted a habeas corpus petition seeking the apex court’s direction to the state government to bring his son before the court.

Meitei has challenged a ruling by the Imphal bench of the Gauhati High Court, which dismissed his plea Jan 7 against his son’s detention.

The police arrested Meitei’s son July 29 last year, alleging he was a militant belonging to extremist outfit Kangleipak Communist Party (Military Council), which last year owned responsibility for a Diwali eve blast in Imphal killing 17 people and injuring 30.

Meitei’s son was nabbed near the Manipur University allegedly in possession of arms and ammunition, besides a mobile phone and some letters written by KCP-MC, to extort money from some businessman in the area.

The police charged the suspected militant of violating the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and for illegally possessing fire arms.

Following his arrest, the Imphal district magistrate also issued an order putting him under preventive detention under the National Security Act as the youth had criminal antecedents.

He was arrested earlier along with six others for their alleged role in a murder case in July 2006.

Appearing for Meitei’s son, advocate N. Mahendra Singh told the apex court that the boy was only 15 when he was arrested for the first time July 30, 2006.

He said the fact that he was a juvenile delinquent was established by a juvenile court in Imphal, which had granted bail to him June 2008 after two years in custody.

Singh contended his client’s son was still not a major and no laws, except the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Child) Act, 2000, could be applied to him.

There was no question of prosecuting him under normal laws like Indian Penal Code or the Criminal Procedure Code, much less the special laws like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or the National Security Act, said the defence counsel.

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