Court attack: Gauhati HC Chief Justice visits Mizoram

Aizawl, Oct 5 (IANS) Gauhati High Court Chief Justice Ajit Singh on Wednesday visited Mizoram in the wake of a mob attack at Lunglei court and subsequent withdrawal of all judges from there, an official said.

“Gauhati High Court Chief Justice Ajit Singh arrived here today (Wednesday) from Guwahati and held a series of meetings with senior officials to study the situation arising out of the mob attack in the Lunglei court on September 22,” a Mizoram Law Department official told IANS over phone.

He, however, could not confirm whether the Chief Justice would also meet Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla and Home Minister R. Lalzirliana over the issue.

“After returning to Guwahati on Thursday or Friday, the Chief Justice might take a final decision on the issue,” the official added.

Chief Justice Ajit Singh was accompanied by Gauhati High Court’s Registrar General H.K. Sharma.

After the September 22 mob attack, the High Court Registrar General had withdrawn all the three judges of the Lunglei district and sessions court in southern Mizoram.

“The Mizoram government requested the Gauhati High Court Chief Justice to rescind the order withdrawing the judges. The Chief Justice, in a letter to Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, assured to consider the request,” the official added.

Mizoram Home Minister R. Lalzirliana earlier said that a magisterial inquiry has been instituted to probe the incident.

“Aizawl District Deputy Commissioner Kannan Gopinathan has finished his probe into the court attack and he would submit his report in a day or two,” the official added.

A mob attacked the Lunglei district court buildings on September 22 and ransacked the official residence of a civil judge, after the police brought before the court a 26-year-old youth for allegedly killing a man in the Zohnuai locality of Lunglei district on August 27.

The crowd had demanded to see the accused youth, but the police turned down their request, leading to the mob attack.

The Union Home Ministry has also sought a report from the Congress-ruled Mizoram government over violence in the court premises.

Describing the mob attack on the district court buildings in Mizoram as a “dark chapter”, Chief Justice Ajit Singh had in a letter requested the Chief Minister to take stringent action against the culprits.

Unless strict action was taken at once, the incident would encourage future similar incidents, the Chief Justice wrote, according to the official.

The High Court’s Registrar General, in his order, also asked Lawngtlai district Senior Civil Judge-cum-Chief Judicial Magistrate not to hold any circuit court in Lunglei district until further orders from the high court.

The Mizoram Chief Minister and the Mizoram Bar Association’s Lunglei district branch also strongly condemned the violence.

The police had arrested 27 people for the violent attack and the court had remanded them in judicial custody just ahead of the withdrawal of the judges.

Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, besides Assam, fall under the jurisdiction of the Gauhati High Court, while Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur and Sikkim have separate state high courts.

–IANS

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