Court closes AG shooting case

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IMPHAL March 4: In regard to the shooting incident of Advocate General of Manipur, Nongmeikapam Kotishwar, the court of the Judicial Magistrate 1st Class (JMIC) of Imphal East on July 19, 2010 passed an order and disposed the said criminal case.

IFP in a follow up of the case learnt that a final report was submitted by the Officer in charge of Lamlai Police Station to the JMIC praying for accepting the final report as there was no material evidence to proceed the case further as minute and through investigations has been carried out.

The order passed in regard to FIR case number 36(3)2010 LLI P.S. under section 326 of the Indian Penal Code and 25 (1-C) Arms Act stated facts of the case that K Dhananjoy Singh, Inspector and OC Lamlai registered a case on receipt of information that on May 6, 2010 at about 7.45 pm, AG, Kotiswar was hit by a bullet when he was coming from Ukhrul side towards Imphal with some other VIPs along the National Highway 150 near Sawombung Kabui Village and later taken to JN Hospital, Porompat for medical treatment. Hence, the case was investigated into.

The final report papers showed that during the course of investigation, the investigating officer found out that AG Kotiswar occupied the front seat of an ambassador car bearing registration number MN01-K/7195 and works minister K Ranjit occupied the rear left seat just behind Kotiswar and K Ranjit was handling the pistol with his right hand simply for seeing the external structure of the weapon without the magazine which was taken from DD Thaisii, established as license holder and owner of the pistol.

When the ambassador car reached Sawombung Kabui village, there was a sudden jolt in the car when the vehicle passed over some pot holes on the road. Subsequently, one round was fired from the weapon and bullet hit the right back seat, which pierced through the right arm and then through the right side chest of AG Kotiswar Singh accidentally. None of the occupants inside the car had any knowledge that one round of ammunition was inside the chamber of the pistol. The I.O. had investigated the matter deeply and lastly found that the said incident is true but purely an accident. The OC of Lamlai also the IO of the case had prayed to the court of the JMIC to accept the presented final report.

The order of the JMIC then states that he has perused all police papers including expert opinion and the statement recorded under section 161 Cr.P.C. of the victim Advocate General N Kotiswar of Uripok Tourangbam Leikai , works minister Kangujam Ranjit of Serou Bazar and the then TD minister Duo Douna Thaisii of Purul village, Senapati and Huiningsubam Chaoba of Pishum Ningom Leirak, driver of GAD.

On perusal of the statement of N Kotiswar, which stated, “Now, I conclude that it was an unfortunate accident in nature which could prove fatal. Even though it seems to be accidental, I am grateful to almighty that I have been saved. I am not interested to continue any further legal proceedings in connection with the incident”.

Following the facts and circumstances, the court did not find any material evidence which cannot be accepted, the final report of the police investigation prayed for was hence accepted and the case disposed of.

Voicing opinions to IFP, legal luminaries in the regard expressed doubt on whether the crime was a bail-able offense according to the Criminal Procedure Court. It may be mentioned that the state government took more than 12 hours to clarify that the AG had been shot by one of the co passenger and earlier reports had said that the AG was shot in an ambush. Outraged at the incident, the All Manipur Bar Association and High Court Bar Association demanding a CBI probe had taken out a protest rally on May 10, 2010 after suspending duties.

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