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Erendro released from jail after SC’s order; Apex Court says he can’t be kept in jail even for a day

Erendro speaking to the media after the release

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the release of political activist Erendro Leichombam, who had been charged under the National Security Act (NSA). The apex court had set a 5 pm deadline for the activist’s release and said that “He cannot be kept in jail even for a day.”

TFM Desk

Political activist Manipur Erendro Leichombam who was detained under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) over a Facebook post that “cow dung or cow urine will not cure COVID” is a free man now. He was released following the Supreme Court’s order.

Delivering the judgment on Monday, Justice Chandrachud said “Let him (Erendro Leichombam) be released on bail bond of Rs. 1,000 and before 5 pm today Let this order be communicated to Central Jail Sajiwa, Imphal”.

According to a report by Bar & Bench, A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah said that the person cannot be kept in jail even for a day for such an act.

“He cannot be kept in jail even for a day. We will order his release today,” said Justice Chandrachud.

Also Read: “Can’t keep him in jail even for a day:” Supreme Court orders release of activist charged for FB post against use of Cow dung as COVID cure (

According to a copy of the order in TFM’s possession, the Supreme Court said “…having prima facie considered the contents of the petition, we are of the view that the continued detention of the petitioner before this Court would amount to a violation of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution. We accordingly direct that the petitioner shall be released forthwith as and by way of an interim direction of this Court, unless he is required to be in custody in any other case, subject to further orders, subject to his filing a personal release bond in the amount of Rs 1000….The respondents shall comply with the order of this Court on or before 5 pm today”.

Erendro and TFM journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem were charged under the stringent Act in May, for Facebook posts they made after the passing away of Manipur BJP president Saikhom Tikendra Singh due to Covid-related complications. They had criticised the saffron party for purportedly promoting cow urine as a cure for the infection.

The activist had written in his post that cow dung and urine were not a cure for the coronavirus and expressed condolences at the death of the BJP leader. “The cure is science and common sense,” the post added.

Leichombam’s father L Raghumani Singh had in June filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging his detention.

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During the proceedings on Monday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that he would take instructions from the Centre and requested the court to hear the case on Tuesday. But the court insisted on passing an order granting interim relief to Leichombam.

“He cannot be kept in jail even for a day,” Justice DY Chandrachud said. “We are of the view that continued detention of the petitioner would be a violation of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21.”

In his petition, Erendro’s father had argued that the Manipur Police invoked NSA only to defeat the bail granted to the activist earlier. Erendro was booked under the Act on May 17, shortly after a local court had granted him bail.

His father Raghumani said that his son had been preventively detained solely to punish him for his criticism of BJP for advocating cow dung and cow urine as cures for Covid-19.

He cited the Supreme Court’s order from April 30, in which it had warned the state governments against stifling the voices of citizens on social media amid the health crisis.

“It is a settled position of law that statements of criticism of politicians or government office bearers, no matter how harsh, do not by themselves amount to a disruption of public order, unless there is clear evidence to show that such statements could lead to incidents (such as rioting) which would disturb public order,” said Erendro’s father. In 2020, Erendro was charged with sedition for his Facebook posts.

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