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LBCA Reverend seeks quashing of criminal proceeding against him

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, MARCH 13: A top functionary of the Lotha Baptist Churches Association (LBCA) is seeking a High Court order to quash a criminal proceeding against him pending in the court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Wokha.
As per Court document, Rev. Dr. L Tsanso was charged in the early part of last year with “bringing out offensive text messages” on social media. Consequently, an FIR against him was filed on February 16, 2021, at Wokha Police Station.
“Police investigated the matter and complainants (not named in the Court order) were summoned and called for a meeting at the Office of the Superintendent of Police, Wokha, on February 18, 2021. It was disclosed by the Police that the text messages were generated by the petitioner (Tsanso). Thereafter, the alleged offences being compoundable, the matter was amicably settled between the parties with certain conditions and subsequently, the FIR was withdrawn by the complainants/respondents”, it stated.
However, the Counsel for the Reverend submitted that when the FIR has been withdrawn, the JMFC of Wokha cannot suo moto admit and take cognisance of the complaint under Section 200 of CrPC “since the matter has been already settled amicably between the parties”.
He further submitted that there was no substance or evidence on record to show that the Reverend had committed offences under Section 500 of IPC or Section 67 of IT Act.
The Counsel argued that JMFC, Wokha, had not applied her mind in taking cognisance of the criminal complaint and sought that the pending criminal proceeding against the Reverend be set aside and quashed.
The writ petition was filed on April 29, 2021. Since then, the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court has heard the case on 9 occasions ~ the latest being on March 11, 2022.
During the latest hearing, Justice Devashis Baruah, at the request of the Reverend’s Counsel, listed the matter to be heard on March 24.
The writ petition has been filed against former MLA from Wokha, Mhao Lotha; retired bureaucrat, Limomo Jami; retired teacher, E Mhonlumo Humtsoe; retired Director of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. N Mhabemo Kithan; and Dr. Zumomo Ovung, Professor at Mt. Tiyi College, Wokha.
(Page News Service)