Trinamool Congress spokesperson Saket Gokhale on Thursday said that the National Human Rights Commission( NHRC) has registered a case of unlawful detention against the Gujarat Police.
“The case is for taking me into illegal custody without a transit remand [and without informing local police] from Jaipur to Ahmedabad,” Gokhale wrote in a tweet.
In four days, Gokhale had been arrested twice in December over a news clipping that he had shared on social media. The clipping had been about a purported Right to Information application that said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the Morbi bridge collapse site at an expenditure of Rs 30 crore. The Press Information Bureau had, however, declared that the information was fake.
In Jaipur on December 5, The Gujarat Police first held Gokhale without informing the Rajasthan Police. Gokhale was formally arrested after he was brought to Ahmedabad and remanded in police custody till December 8. The Gujarat Police had accused Gokhale of posting fake news on social media about the prime minister’s visit to Morbi to get political mileage.
However, An Ahmedabad court granted Gokhale bail on December 8. The TMC leader, however, was again arrested in another case filed in Morbi, with the Morbi Police accusing him of allegedly “promoting enmity between classes during the elections” as well as spreading fake news about Modi. Gokhale was granted bail on December 9 in the case.
He filed a complaint with the NHRC, claiming that his detention by the Gujarat Police in the first case was unlawful. He alleged that his detention at the Jaipur airport was also a violation of Section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code as the police had not obtained a transit remand from a local magistrate before taking him to Gujarat.
However, he also told the NHRC that he was taken into custody by the Gujarat Police for 28 hours before being presented in court, which he claimed violated Section 167 of the CrPC. The law mandates that a detainee be produced before the court within 24 hours of being taken into custody, he pointed out.
“Flouting the law and taking people into illegal custody Gestapo-style in the middle of the night to transport them across state lines has become a hallmark of the BJP,” Gokhale wrote in another tweet on Thursday. “Like I’d said – I’ll fight. And fight stronger than ever.”