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Naga Club-NSF dispute reaches High Court

Nagaland News

Club officials obtain conditional pre-arrest bail

DIMAPUR, MAY 29: The path of confrontation paved with rejected overtures, eviction notices and excavators in early morning hours has finally dragged the Naga Club and the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) to opposite corners of the courtroom.
Seemingly rapid machinations on Monday saw the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court hear two separate petitions in connection with the ongoing dispute between the two Naga organisations.
In both the cases, the Naga Club and its officials were the petitioners ~ and Justice Mridul Kumar Kalita heard both the petitions.
The first hearing was a Criminal Petition filed by the Club seeking the quashing of an FIR dated May 27, 2023 purportedly filed by NSF “alleging that their office premise and building has been damaged on the early hours of May 27, 2023 by unknown miscreants and accordingly, the case bearing Kohima North PS Case No. 21/2023 was registered under Sections 457/427/120B/34 of the Indian Penal Code”.
The Naga Club also sought the quashing of said criminal proceeding.
“Issue notice to the respondents. As Mr. V Zhimomi, learned Public Prosecutor, is representing the State of Nagaland, no separate notices need be issued to the respondent No. 1. However, the petitioner shall furnish requisite extra copies of the petition to the learned Public Prosecutor who accepts the said copies for respondent No. 1.
“As regards the respondent No. 2 (NSF), the petitioner shall take steps for issuance of notice by registered post with A/D as well as by usual mode. The petitioner also prays for allowing him to serve notice on respondent No. 2 through dasti service. Prayer is allowed. The petitioner shall take steps within a period of 3 days from today.
The notices are returnable after 2 weeks. Let this case be listed accordingly after 2 weeks”, read the order.
The second hearing was on a batch of Anticipatory Bail applications, filed separately by six officials of the Naga Club.
During the course of this hearing, the petitioners’ Counsel submitted that the Naga Club had given on rent a portion of its building located at Old Civil Secretariat in Kohima to the NSF.
“It is submitted by the learned Counsel for the petitioner that the Naga Students’ Federation was invited on several occasions by the Naga Club for a discussion regarding the Naga Club building, however, the Naga Students’ Federation did not attend those meetings and ultimately eviction notices were issued to the Naga Students’ Federation by the Naga Club.
“However, in spite of that the Naga Students’ Federation did not come forward for a discussion, ultimately the Naga Club decided to demolish the said building for the purpose of construction of a new building at that spot and in this regard Naga Club also obtained necessary building permission from Kohima Municipal Council”, stated another order issued by Justice Kalita.
The Counsel further submitted that a portion of the Naga Club building was demolished in the early morning of May 27 in order to avoid inconvenience of the local public.
“However, office bearers of the Naga Club later on came to know that Naga Students’ Federation lodged an FIR before the Officer-in-Charge of North Police Station, Kohima, Nagaland, alleging that some unknown miscreants had vandalised their office and on the basis of the said FIR at the Kohima North PS Case No. 0021/0023 under Sections 457, 427, 120B & 34 IPC has been registered.
“It is also submitted that in this regard, already three persons have been arrested by police and the present petitioner is also apprehending arrest in connection with the said case. Hence, he has prayed for grant of anticipatory bail”, it stated.
The Public Prosecutor, V Zhimomi sought for some time to seek necessary instructions in this regard and, if necessary, file objection.
“Learned Counsel for the petitioner has also prayed for interim anticipatory bail to the present petitioner till arrival of the case diary stating that he will co-operate with the investigating agency and that in the event of arrest, the reputation of the petitioner would be damaged irreparably. Learned Counsel for the petitioner prays for allowing him to file an additional affidavit to place certain documents relevant to this case on record. Prayer is allowed.
“In view of the submissions made by the learned Counsel for the petitioner as well as learned Public Prosecutor, the learned Public Prosecutor is granted seven days’ time during which he may seek necessary instructions and he may file objection if so required. Considering the facts and circumstances of this case, the petitioner is directed to appear before the Investigating Officer of this case within three days from the date of this order and co-operate with the Investigating Officer. If he does so within the stipulated time, in the event of his arrest in connection with the said case, the arresting authority shall allow him to go on bail of Rs 20,000 with one surety of like amount to the satisfaction of the arresting authority, till next date of this case” read the order.
Justice Kalita called directed the Public Prosecutor to produce the case diary on June 5, the next hearing.
(Page News Service)