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NIA court junks Govt pleas against bail granted to Mark T Haokip


The applications filed under Section 439(2) CrPC were found not maintainable as barred by the principles embodied in Section 362 CrPC, said the court

TFM Desk

In a major setback for the state government, the Special Judge (NIA) of Imphal West on Monday rejected its two applications to set aside or modify the bail order of Mark T Haokip, ruling them as not maintainable based on the principles outlined in Section 362 of the CrPC.

Mark Thangmang Haokip was arrested by a team of the Manipur Police from Kishangarh, New Delhi on May 24 last year after multiple FIRs were lodged against him for his alleged provocative social media posts. He was brought to Imphal on May 27. The state government alleged that Mark Thangmang Haokip is the President of an outfit organisation called ‘Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Kukiland’ [PDRK] which is involved in a conspiracy for secession from India and to wage or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the Government of India.

Mark T Haokip

However, on March 28, 2024, a special NIA court granted default bail to Mark T Haokip, who has been in jail for over 10 months after the chargesheet filed by the state government was incomplete. The next day on March 29, the same court kept in abeyance until further order the operation of its order granting default bail to Mark T Haokip after the Manipur government filed an application praying for cancellation of the bail under section 439 (2) of CrPC and another application for setting aside or modifying the bail order and permission to take the accused to custody for further trial.

Further, Haokip’s wife had filed a bail application to the High Court of Manipur, which was rejected. The High Court directed the Special Judge (NIA) to hear and determine the government’s application under Section 439(2) of the CrPC for bail cancellation expeditiously within six weeks. However, the High Court did not address the merits of the criminal revision or the scope of Section 439(2) CrPC.

The Special Judge (NIA) noted that according to Supreme Court judgments, a fresh bail application can be considered under changed circumstances, and bail conditions can be varied if justified. However, the same court is not empowered to cancel an already granted bail order unless the accused has misconducted or supervening circumstances justify such cancellation.

In this case, no new developments or misconduct by the accused were presented between March 28 and March 29, 2023, to warrant setting aside or modifying the bail order. Therefore, the applications filed under Section 439(2) CrPC were found not maintainable as barred by the principles embodied in Section 362 CrPC, said the court.

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