Decided on March 12,2021

Soumen Sarkar Appellant


S.Talapatra,J. - (1.) By means of this petition, filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner has challenged the lookout circular dated 28.01.2020 by Bureau of Immigration and communication dated 30.09.2018 written by the Superintendent of Police, West Tripura to the Regional Passport Officer at Kolkata. He has further challenged the letters dated 14.10.2019 and 13.11.2019 written by the Superintendent of Police, West Tripura to the Bureau of Immigration.
(2.) The writ petitioner is a non-resident Indian and he has been hosting a news portal named and styled as Tripura which is registered in U.S.A. The petitioner also holds the position of editor of the said news portal. The said news portal has become the target, according to the petitioner, for fearlessly exposing the cause of common people. The parents of the petitioner residing permanently in Tripura. His father is an octogenarian whereas his mother is a septuagenarian. They have become subjected to harassment by the police. He and his parents had been threatened and intimidated by the police personnel. Smti. Neuti Sarkar, the mother of the petitioner had approached this High Court by filing a writ petition being WP(C)No.52/2019 wherein the Superintendent of Police, West Tripura had been directed to assuage the petitioner's parents and visit their residence after giving notice for appointment in their convenient time considering their age, if the police were in need of any information from them [see the order dated 17.01.2019 delivered in WP(C)No.52/2019]. Against the petitioner, cognizance under Section 500 of the IPC was taken by the Sessions Judge, West Tripura, Agartala for alleged streaming of false content in his news portal. The said case had been registered as CR 04/2017.
(3.) Sri Gautam Das, a leader of the ruling party at the relevant point of time filed a complaint against the petitioner for streaming a news item on 22.10.2017 in his portal. Cognizance was taken under Section 500 of the IPC by the order dated 07.12.2017 in C.R.373/2017 by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, West Tripura. Another complaint being CR01 of 2018 was launched by Sri Saheed Choudhury, the then Minister, Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of Tripura alleging defamation and cognizance was taken by the Sessions Judge on 05.04.2018 under Section 500 of the IPC. Again, another complaint was lodged by Sri Biplab Kumar Deb, Chief Minister of Tripura through the Public Prosecutor, District-West Tripura taking aid of section 199(2) of the Cr.P.C. By the order dated 04.05.2019 cognizance has been taken against the petitioner under Section 500 of the IPC. One 'false' compliant had been to the police station on 21.09.2018 to the Officer-in-Charge East Agartala Police Station by a person alleging that at about 11 hrs., the petitioner called him and demanded a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- with warning that if the said demand was not met, the 'information' regarding his involvement in drug smuggling would be broadcast. On the basis of the said written complaint, an investigation was initiated under Section 157 of the Cr.P.C. on entering the substance of the compliant in East Agartala P.S. G.D. Entry No.37 dated 21.09.2018. Another compliant of that nature was also filed in East Agartala P.S. and on the basis of the said complaint, East P.S. case No.207 under section 384/511 of the IPC was registered. The petitioner has filed one criminal petition being Criminal petition No. 51 of 2019 in this High Court for quashing East Agartala P.S. Case No.208 Eag/2004 under Section 384/511 of the IPC.;

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