The Manipur government has refused to compensate activist Leichombam Erendro for his detention under the National Security Act (NSA) for an “objectionable” Facebook post.
The government in its affidavit filed at Supreme Court said he is a “habitual offender” whose arrest was essential to maintain public tranquillity.
Erendro, walked out of the Manipur Central Jail in July hours after the Supreme Court ordered his immediate release.
He was arrested by the police on May 13 along with journalist Kishorchandra Wangkhem for their Facebook posts related to the death of the Manipur BJP chief S Tikendra Singh, who died of Covid-19.
“Arrest of detenu was essential in order to prevent him from indulging in posting further hatred or insulting comments on social media and abusing his position as a political activist,” district magistrate (Imphal West) said in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court.
The affidavit came in response to a petition by Erendro’s father seeking compensation for his son’s detention under NSA, which provides for imprisonment without trial for up to two years, on May 13.
The affidavit described Erendro as an “influential young social activist” with a huge fan following on social media that raises him to the status of a “celebrity”.
“There was no malafide intention…the detention order was passed taking into account the situation that was prevailing at the time when the post was made on Facebook. The detenu was not subjected to any custodial torture. Therefore, ground for compensation is not made out,” it said.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah took the affidavit on record and agreed to consider compensation on August 23.