The All Manipur Bar Association today rejected allegations that the lawyer fraternity in the state had steered clear of a case involving the son of Chief Minister N Biren Singh as its members “fear for their lives”. Advocate L Roshmani of the association told reporters that the charges made by lawyer Utsav Bains, representing the victim’s family, had “tarnished” the image of the judicial system of Manipur. “The entire judicial process stands the risk of being jeopardised by such irresponsible and reckless statements. I wish he (Bains) had some evidence to back his allegations. This matter needs to be dealt with appropriately,” he said. The association has also approached the Bar Council of India urging it to initiate disciplinary action against Bains and has also threatened to take legal recourse against him. Ajay Meetai, son of the chief minister, has been awarded a five-year jail term by a sessions court under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC for firing at Irom Roger on March 20, 2011, and killing him.
The incident had occurred after Roger had allegedly not allowed Meetai to overtake him in his SUV which had irked the chief minister’s son. Irom Chitra Devi, mother of the victim, have moved the Supreme Court alleging that they are being threatened and that lawyers in the state have refused to challenge the order of the sessions judge due to the clout of the chief minister. “It is indeed very disheartening to note that the allegation against lawyers in Manipur is totally baseless. It has been hurled to tarnish and demean the advocates practising in the state,” Khaidem Mani, former president of the association, said. Meanwhile, the apex court today asked the Centre to consider giving security cover to the parents of Roger, observing that without any reason nobody has the courage to make allegations against the chief minister.