Tripura HC 'Discharges' Ex-MLA Convicted For Defaming Former CM Manik Sarkar [Read Judgment]

Tripura HC Discharges Ex-MLA Convicted For Defaming Former CM Manik Sarkar [Read Judgment]

"It is an undisputed fact that the sanction order in question has not been issued in the name of the Governor nor has been shown to have issued by the order of the Governor."

The Tripura High Court on Wednesday 'discharged' (acquitted) a former MLA who was convicted for 'defaming' former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, as the it was found that there was no valid sanction order to prosecute the accused, who was an MLA.

Billal Miah, who was MLA of the Tripura Legislative Assembly, was accused of making 'scathing and unfounded' allegations in a public meeting to defame the then Chief Minister. Miah had alleged that Sarkar purchased a luxurious flat. He was convicted by the Sessions' Court and sentenced to two days' imprisonment.

In appeal, the Senior Counsel who appeared for the ex-MLA, stressed on the legal issue whether the sanction order for prosecuting the then MLA was issued in contrast to the provisions of Article 166 of the Constitution of India.

Justice S. Talapatra noted that, in this case, the sanction order was not issued in the name of the Governor nor has been shown to have issued by the order of the Governor. "In absence of any express authorization, the sanction order issued by the Legal Remembrancer & the Secretary Law Department cannot be held valid inasmuch as the constitutional provision as embodied in Articles 77 (3) and 166 (3) of the Constitution requires satisfaction of the Governor. Unless by the Rules of Executive business or the rules made by the Governor, the allocation in the form of authorization is made expressly providing the authority to issue sanction order, no other person except the Governor can consider the materials based on which the sanction is sought and decide the issue of granting the sanction appropriately," said the court.

The court then discharged the accused even though it 'found' that the charge as framed against him has been established to the hilt and in the hearing no challenge has been taken up against the finding of conviction returned on appreciation of the evidence. The court also added that conduct of the accused is culpable and depraved and not a single piece of evidence could be placed by him in his defence.

Read the Judgment Here